In the novel Shane, by Jack Schaefer, the main character Shane displays what it takes to be a true hero. Since the moment Shane rode up to the Starrett’s farm in Wyoming, he had captured the family with his striking appearance. He had a look about him that seemed tough and full of toleration. After Shane asked the family for a glass of water, Joe and Marian Starrett invited him to stay for the night so his horse could rest. At dinner later that night, the Starrett’s son Bob asked Shane question after question out of curiosity. After getting to know Shane, the family convinced him to stay a second night in hope of spending more time with him. After the second night, Shane began to live with the family and their relationship grew stronger the more that they lived and worked together.
Throughout the first few chapters, it becomes clear that the family looks up to Shane and Shane becomes protective over the family. Bob sees Shane as a hero the second he rides up to the farm on his big horse. He is fascinated in Shane and looks up to the strong, brave man that he portrays. Marian shows her interest in Shane when she searches for acceptance from both of the men after flaunting her new hat and baking an apple pie. It means the world to Joe that Shane is willing to help him around the farm. The first time that the reader is able to see them working as a team is when the two men work on the stump together; something that Joe has been trying to accomplish by himself for quite some time. Shane displays affection toward the family through the first half of the book in a nurturing manner. When the peddler sells a cultivator to Joe, Shane can tell that it is way over priced and manipulates him to lower the price. Shane see’s Bob playing with his toy gun and takes the time to give him a few pointers on how to hold the gun. He even looked out for the family without them even being aware of it. One evening, Shane started to sit in Joe’s seat at the dinner table because there was a perfect view of the front door. This way, he would be able to see anyone coming towards the house trying to start trouble.
Chapter 6 marks the major turning point in the novel. After the summer had passed, Fletcher continued to try to take their farm from the family. Bob witnessed a confrontation with Shane and one of Fletcher’s men Chris. He noticed that Shane let them insult and harass him, yet he didn’t do anything about it. Fletcher begins to taunt the Starrett family and the community begins to blame Fletchers actions on Joe and Shane. Shane doesn’t want this for Joe but keeps himself from enforcing any violence upon the men. It isn’t until Shane kindly offers Chris a soda and he smashes it across Shane’s head that Shane is forced to be violent. After giving Chris a good beating, he cleans him up and heads back to the farm. The fact that Shane keeps himself calm until he has no other choice proves whom the real hero is. He stands up for whom he truly cares about, the Starrett family, and does it with class. The family isn’t worried about what Fletcher will do, but how Shane feels know that he had to take actions he never wished to take.
Today, April 11 2011, I took part in the sexual assault awareness week by wearing a “1 in 4” t-shirt. Those who signed up were each given a t-shirt to wear throughout the day to spread awareness regarding sexual assault. One out of every four college women and one out of every eight college men are sexually assaulted. I was extremely taken back after learning about these statistics. The freshmen building that I live in is split up by groups of four girls, this could mean that one girl out of each dorm could be sexually assaulted. While walking around campus, it was great to see all of the students wearing the blue and pink shirts. Luckily it was a beautiful day out so sweatshirts or jackets didn’t cover them up and we were able to get the full effect.
Later this evening, there was a forum in Knott Hall where participants were able to share their experience. One thing that we discussed was how some participants chose to wear shirts for the opposite sex. Their reasoning for this was to express that sexual assault is a problem for not only women but also men. We don’t only care about the 1 in 4 women who are assaulted but the 1 in 8 men as well. One of my classmates brought up an interesting point that yes, we are spreading awareness by wearing these shirts, but what happens when the shirts come off? The fact of the matter is that we need to be comfortable enough to talk to others about this issue and be prepared to feel uncomfortable. Plus, if we relate this to someone that they know or love, it may make it a little more personal and easier to grasp. A man in the group made an interesting comment that some may say women put themselves in the situation by dressing a certain way almost as if they are “asking for it” but in most cases this isn’t true. He went on to make the point that people dress a certain way to make themselves feel a certain way. A girl may wear a short skirt or sexy dress out because she’s saying look, I’m comfortable in my own skin and I’m happy to be who I am. Overall I felt that today was enlightening to say the least and I hope to educate others about sexual awareness as well as be there for those who may need any kind of guidance. I certainly advise others to take part and hope to participate again next year.