Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In the novel Shane, by Jack Shaefer, Shane is represented with heroic qualities from very early in the novel. Bob Starret has a fascination with nearly everything about Shane. Bob talks about Shane’s clothes, his “magnificence,” and how his face appears to show a difficult past. Even with Shane’s hardened appearance, he is portrayed as a very gentle and kind person. His clothing and facial features do not fit his attitude. While he seems to be a rough wild west cowboy, he fits very well into the Starret family.

The Starret family does not want Shane to leave, and they invite him to spend another night. Shane realizes that this is no longer about the weather, and that they would actually like him to stay. Shane decides to stay, and he begins to work on removing the large stump with Joe. Soon after removing the stump, Joe hires Shane to work on the farm. Shane says that he never imagined himself to be a farmer, however, he accepts Joe’s offer.

Now that Shane is essentially a member of the house, the Starret family begins to notice how constantly alert Shane is. He is always looking over his shoulder and watching doors as if he is afraid of something. They also notice that even though he has a gun, he does not carry it around. This is foreshadowing some dark ominous event later in the book. This tension constantly keeps the reader on edge.

Surprisingly, at the end of the summer, Shane is still working on the Starret’s farm. Shane is becoming a real part of the family. He shows this when he clears the field while Joe is going as an anniversary present. Shane shows his worth again when the steers get loose and he goes out to catch them. Shane is still a great hero in Bob’s eyes. One day, way Bob is playing with a toy gun, Shane goes up to him and teaches him a few tricks. This just furthers Bob’s admiration for Shane. Bob is amazed at how well Shane can wield a gun. This not only shows that Shane is becoming more of a hero to Bob, but it also shows the reader that Shane has a lot of history handling weapons. This is more foreshadowing for some event looming in this families future.

Fletcher begins to threaten the farms of local families soon after summer is over. People believe that Fletcher will most likely try to run Shane out of town. When Shane and Joe go into town, he has a confrontation with one of Fletcher’s men, Chris. The men do not fight, but Chris gets under Shane’s skin, and Shane becomes rigid and angry at the saloon. After the first confrontation, Fletcher’s men begin to harass the farmers because they are no longer worried about Shane. Joe’s reputation in the eyes of the other farmers is quickly declining. Shane feels responsible so he goes to the bar and, like in all good cowboy stories, starts a bar fight. Shane easily beats Chris in the fight.

The end of chapter seven confirms Shane as the typical cowboy hero. He has beaten the enemy physically, and shown all of the people in the town his worth. Bob looks up to Shane like he is a legend. He appears to idolize him the way that some kids look up to their big brothers. Bob wants to mimic him in nearly every way. This shows how Bob and Shane have begun to develop a deeper connection at this point in the novel, and how Shane will clearly remain Bob’s hero.

Toward the end of the Frankenstein symposium, I attended the keynote speaker’s lecture. To be completely honest, I had gone to so many Frankenstein events that they have all seemed to blend together. The week of the symposium I attended the original “Frankenstein” movie, “The Bride of Frankenstein,” “Young Frankenstein,” three different symposiums, and the keynote speaker. In addition to those events we had been spending a great deal of time in both this class and my Western Civ class discussing Frankenstein (we even talked about it in my Latin class!). I feel like after all of these events I could write a book on Frankenstein! Looking back on it, I truly appreciate the amount of time that we spent studying Frankenstein. I have never gone into such great detail in any subject. In addition to that, I have never heard so many people’s opinions on the same subject. It is amazing how many different ideas can stem from one peace of literature, and the keynote speaker helped me to realize that.

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