This weeks reading consisted of just one book entitled Shane written by: Jack Schaefer. This was a different type of reading from what we are used to because it is long and time consuming unlike short poems that take a lot of analysis. From the beginning of this novel a theme started to take part, which was, as I believe to never judge a book by its cover that then builds into loyalty. This is personified throughout the whole first half of the novel as Shane, a cowboy like figure comes into town and looks dangerous but Joe wishes to meet him and offers Shane dinner eventually leading to him staying indefinitely at the Starrett’s house. While staying at the house Joe and his family become extremely close and grateful to Shane, even though they all realize there is a dangerous side to him that they hope they wont have to encounter. This is shown by Shanes constant need to know what is around him and his ‘on edge’ feelings the Starrett’s get about him. Loyalty builds throughout the novel, as Shane and Joe get extremely close as friends and as Shane becoming a mentor to Joe.
These themes reminded me of a personal experience I had about a year ago as I was tutoring fourth grade students in deep west Philadelphia. At first, as most people would have been in the situation I was judgmental about the children automatically assuming they were bad kids and would be hard to teach because they would not want to learn. I was completely wrong about both. As I got to know each of my twenty individually they each had a story that I learned that I was able to take something from that ultimately led me to probably learning much more than I could ever have possibly taught them. A major part of this was loyalty and never judging things by the way they look. Just because these children were unfortunate and went to this school didn’t mean they were bad kids or unwilling to learn it just meant they had a troubling upbringing. Some teachers at that school were where I truly learned about loyalty. The teacher I had, ms. Lavenduski, was a great teacher and she ultimately wanted what was best for the students. She stayed afterschool to help them and kept them away from all the pressures they had at home and still brought her previous classes in to teach them after she could technically had gone home. This extra activity reminded me of the relationship between Joe and Shane with the loyalty they grew between each other. As Shane taught Joe so much by teaching him different things and he was willing to stay with Joe after hardly knowing him. Joe was able to trust Shane and learn from him straight away instead of being judgmental. These two themes I feel like come up a lot in the novel Shane and a lot more in real life situations that most people wont even recognize has happened because that’s just the way they have been brought up and always thought.