Shane (novel)

Shane (novel)

Infobox Book |
name = Shane
title_orig =
translator =

author = Jack Schaefer
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Western
publisher = Houghton Mifflin
release_date = 1949
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 214 p. (hardback first edition) & 119 p. (paperback edition)
isbn = ISBN 978-0-553-27110-2 (paperback edition)
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Shane is a 1949 western book by Jack Schaefer. It is often considered his greatest novel.

Characters in "Shane"

*Shane – the traveller and ex gunfighter, a mysterious gunman who enters into the life of Joe Starrett and his family and carves a place for himself in their hearts. Although he tries to leave his gunslinging past behind, refusing to even carry a gun, he decides to fight Fletcher, the town enemies, in order to save Joe Starrett's farm. After he kills Fletcher and Wilson, he feels he must leave the town forever. (There is an unstated implication that he may be dying, as he departs.)
*Bob Starrett – farmer's boy who befriends Shane, Bob takes the reader out of the realm of adulthood. Looking at Shane and life through his eyes allows a different perspective; it is one of awe and reverence and one tempered by the boyishness of the Old West. Bob fancies guns and pretends to shoot Indians. He is a good boy, but his character is by no means developed. The impact Shane has on him is observable throughout and is probably greater than Shane's impact on any one other person. Shane cared about everyone in the Starrett family. Before Shane came along, Bob used to admire Fletcher and his men. After meeting Shane, Bob has a completely new definition of what it means to be a real hero and finally has a real role model to fill that spot. Bob learns that being a man is not about toting guns or asserting dominance over others. He learns that being a man is about doing the right thing, and he looks to Shane time and time again for demonstration. Shane also affirms Bob's opinion about his father. Bob sees Shane's deep respect and loyalty to Joe, and Bob knows that his father is not like Fletcher's men, but is more like Shane—respectable and a true hero.
*Joe Starrett – Bob's father, a Wyoming farmer who develops a rare and strong friendship with Shane. Joe is the understated hero of the book. Next to most people, he is a dominant respectable force—people often look to him as a hero. The only person who dwarfs Joe is Shane, but Joe is secure enough in his manhood that he never exhibits any jealousy toward Shane. He acknowledges that Shane is a better man and exhibits love for Shane and not resentment for all his good qualities. This knowledge makes him want to glean as much from Shane as possible—his companionship, his friendship, his hard work at the farm. Joe's immediate embracing of Shane and Shane's character demonstrates that Joe knows a good man when he sees one and explains why he will not let Shane slip away. Like Shane, Joe comes through as well, even rescuing Shane from a dangerous situation. The relationship between them is mutual—they both give and take from each other in an easy, egalitarian fashion. Their relationship is based on their being tandem characters, who possess the same values.
*Luke Fletcher – one of the main antagonists of the story. He is out to claim all the land he can, regardless of who already occupies it.
*Marian Starrett – Joe Starrett's wife.
*Chris – one of Fletcher's followers,who Shane beat up at the bar. He later asks to work for Joe, realizing the error in Fletcher's ways.
*Wilson – Fletcher's gunman. Most likely hired to stop Shane.

Major themes

Shane realizes that no matter what he does to escape his past, he will always be a gunfighter. At the end, he accepts this and serves his purpose as a gunslinger by fighting the antagonist, Fletcher.


*"'Call me Shane.'" --Shane
*"'You wouldn't have. Not where you come from. He's a special brand we sometimes get out here in the grass country. I've come across a few. A bad one's poison. A good one's straight grain clear through.'" --Joe Starrett
*"'A man is what he is, Bob, and there's no breaking the mold. I tried that and I've lost. But I reckon it was in the cards from the moment I saw a freckled kid on a rail up the road there and a real man behind him, the kind that could back him for the chance another kid never had.'" --Shane
*'"Yes," said Mr. Weir. "He's alive all right. Wilson got to him. But no bullet can kill that man." A puzzled, faraway sort of look flitted across Mr. Weir's face. "Sometimes I wonder whether anything ever could."' --Mr. Weir
*'"Yes, Starrett. Think it over. You wouldn't want someone else to be enjoying this place of yours--and that woman there in the window."' --Stark Wilson
*'"I brought that for Bob. I'm a poor substitute, Starrett. But as soon as this arm's healed, I'm asking you to let me work for you."' --Chris
*'"Not fit for travelling. Starrett, you're poor shakes as a liar."' --Shane

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

*1953 film "Shane", starring Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur and directed by George Stevens
*1966 television series "Shane", starring David Carradine and directed by Herschel Daugherty and Gary Nelson

External links

*" [,673686.aspx Shane: The Critical Edition] "
*" [ Oberlin College Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Shane] "
*" [ Shane Re-envisioned] "

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