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Lonesome Dove

Characters, Beginning, Middle, and End for the historical epic by Larry McMurtry. Kind of basic, but, oh well...

Lilly Carden

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove
Captain Woodrow F. Call
Woodrow F. Call is an ex-Texas Ranger who served with Augustus McCrae, and together, they helped to make Texas safe for settlers by driving out the hostile Native Americans – the Comanches. Captain Call is a withdrawn person who is primarily concerned with work. He sees no reason for laziness, and does not tolerate it in any of his hands. The cattle drive that sets the story in motion is his doing, after Jake Spoon gives him the idea. However, this work ethic fades with the death of his closest companion, and the only person who ever really understood him. He has one son, Newt, but Call refuses to admit to himself that he is Newt's father until after the death of Gus. He proves to be an unfailingly loyal friend, traveling three thousand miles to bury Gus, as it was his final wish to be laid to rest in Texas. Captain Call was a brave man who was unafraid of challenges and symbolized the rugged individuality that was found primarily in the West at that time.
Captain Augustus McCrae
Augustus McCrae, like his closest companion, Woodrow Call, was an ex-Texas Ranger. He and Call were famed for their conquests over Mexican bandits, horsethieves, and Native Americans. Gus was a talkative, lazy man who saw no need to work with a partner like Call. Augustus was originally reluctant to go on the cattle drive suggested by Call, but eventually let his adventurous spirit win, and even left the two women he loved the most to get to Montana. Although he died in a tragic way, he was stubborn to the end, refusing treatment that would cripple him, but allow him to live. He knew all along that Newt was Call's son, and requested before he died, that Call reveal this to Newt. His final wish was to be taken back to Texas, to be buried in an orchard where he had many fond memories. Augustus was famed among the Hat Creek Outfit and the Texas Rangers for his eyesight and his accuracy with a pistol. Gus was also the only person who ever truly understood Call, and Call was a broken man after his death. Although he appeared to be lazy and primarily concerned with pleasure, he was a brave man who was willing to risk his life to save the lives of those he held dear to his heart.
Joshua Deets
Joshua Deets was a trusted friend of both Call and Gus, but was not permitted to be a Texas Ranger, as he was African American. He was known as a great tracker, and regardless of his racial status, was the scout for the Hat Creek Outfit up until his untimely death. Deets was contemplative, and had a certain fondness for the moon. His death shook many in the outfit, for he was so quiet that they had not thought much of him, then realized after his death what a great role he played in daily life on the cattle drive.
Pea Eye
Pea Eye served alongside Call and Gus in the Texas Rangers. He was an original member of the Hat Creek Outfit of Lonesome Dove, along with Augustus, Call, Deets, and Newt. He is shown as being slightly oblivious, and unable to give orders. The reason for this is said to be the fact that he followed orders for so long, he was rendered unable to give them. Pea Eye shows his loyalty to his commanders in the Texas Rangers, Gus and Call, when he walks, freezing and suffering from a bullet wound, many miles to find the herd and Call to get help for Gus, who was dying. Although he was not the brightest of the bunch, Pea Eye would have followed Gus and Call anywhere, and trusted both of them to an astonishing degree.
Larry McMurtry
Jake Spoon
Clara Allen
Elmira Johnson
July Johnson
Newt Dobbs is the son of Captain Call. He is around seventeen years old, and is much like his father. Throughout the book, characters notice similarities in their gait, personalities, and looks. Both are committed to work, and Newt follows orders unquestioningly. Throughout the story, he matures considerably, even being given the responsibility of managing the ranch and his father's prize horse when Call goes to bury Gus. Newt is loyal to those he loves, and is deeply hurt by the deaths of two of the people who had supported him throughout much of his early life.
Lorena Wood is a harlot from Mobile, Alabama. She was abused as a young woman, and as a result is indifferent towards men. She goes along on the cattle drive, much to the chagrin of Call, in an attempt to get to San Francisco, as is promised by Jake Spoon. She is captured by hostile Native Americans and takes to Gus, who saves her. She ends up staying at Clara's ranch, deciding that Montana is no place for women. She is completely shattered by Gus' death, as he had been her protector, and the only person who ever made her feel safe after her abduction.
Jake Spoon served alongside Gus, Call, and Pea Eye in the Texas Rangers. He is considered to be a very lucky man, and is famed for killing a notorious bandit with what was clearly a lucky shot; he couldn't shoot straight otherwise. He is known for making promises that he has no intention of keeping, for example, he promises to take Lorena to San Francisco. Unfortunately, he is negligent and goes into a saloon, during which time Lorena is abducted by Blue Duck, a famed Native American outlaw. After this, Lorena becomes devoted to Gus, and Jake abandons the cattle drive. However, he falls in with bad company and Gus and Call are forced to hang him and his accomplices for murder and horse thievery, neither of which Jake had anything to do with, he was just with the wrong people at the wrong time. All in all, Jake Spoon was a very lucky man whose good luck caught up with him in the worst way.
Clara Allen was an old girlfriend of Gus', but left him and married a dull, uninteresting horse trader who cannot handle horses properly. He later dies from a fatal kick to the head. She takes Lorena in, when Lorena and Gus visit her before continuing on to Montana. She is a strong, independent woman, and is unafraid to speak her mind. She also has a strong dislike of Call because of his tendency towards routine, and his lack of conversational skills.
Elmira Johnson was the wife of July Johnson. She was actually in love with a criminal named Dee Boot, who was later hanged for shooting a nine-year-old child. She gave birth to July's child at Clara's house, then left shortly afterward. Elmira was killed by hostile Sioux when she and a buffalo hunter who cared for her ventured into dangerous territory, against the advice of the Ogallala townspeople. She was a disturbed woman, and did not love July; instead, she married him for protection and a change of scene.
July Johnson is a dull sheriff from Fort Smith, Arkansas, who marries Elmira not two weeks after meeting her. He loves her desperately, and drags himself across the plains for four months, all in the name of finding Elmira. During this time, he finds himself incompetent as a lawman in comparison to the greats, such as Augustus. After Elmira is reported dead, he lives with Clara, and despite his incompetence with horses, helps out on the ranch. Clara compares him to Call, saying that he's 'just as dull, but nicer'.
The story begins in the sleepy Texas town of Lonesome Dove, where we are introduced to Call, Gus, Pea Eye, Bol, and Newt. Later on Lorena, Xavier Wanz, Lippy, Deets, and Jake Spoon were introduced. The outfits are all leaving on the cattle drives to Kansas, and Call is contemplating heading out on a cattle drive with the Hat Creek Outfit (Gus, Call, Deets, Newt, Pea Eye, and Bol). He decides to go on a drive and be the first to Montana (at the joking suggestion of Jake Spoon), much to the dismay of Gus, who likes the easy life. However, Call wins the argument, and once a sufficient number of cows and horses have been stolen from their Mexican neighbor, Pedro Flores, the Hat Creek Outfit, with the addition of some homesick Irishmen and hired cowboys is off to Montana on what will prove to be the last great adventure for many.
The middle of the book is the true epic tragedy of the American West. Men are lost, bandits are hung, and the herd, remuda, and men move slowly towards Montana, while other characters, such as July Johnson make their ways towards their various destinations. However, all paths intersect, and July encounters Augustus and Clara, Jake Spoon encounters a gun outfit, and many, such as Sean O'Brien, encounter death. The Hat Creek Outfit faces fears, such as snakes, rivers, and drought in an epic cattle drive, and a push to be the first cattle ranchers in Montana.
The end of the book is full of tragedy and loss, but also of promise, and loyalty. Following the death of his oldest friend, Call tow's Gus' remains three thousand miles simply to satisfy his final wish – to be buried in an orchard in Texas where he shared many happy times with Clara. Call also comes to terms with the fact that he is indeed Newt's father. At the end, Call is portrayed as a broken man, lost without the only person who ever understood him. After burying Gus, Call pays a final visit to Lonesome Dove, and finds the saloon where Gus spend most of his time burnt to the ground; the owner was devastated at the loss of Lorena. Lorena, too, is destroyed at the loss of Gus, sometimes going for months on end without speaking. The book ends with Call looking at the ruins of the saloon, after the local barber explains to him how it burned down.
Prezi by Lilly B. Carden
Hat Creek Oufit
Other Characters
Ogallala/Fort Smith
Lonesome Dove
McMurtry, Larry. Lonesome Dove: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985. Print.
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