Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Shane, is a novel with many themes. The title which references the primary character of the story gets caught up in staying with the Starretts, an average family during 89’. One of the main themes throughout the story is Shane and his ability to better unit the family. Shane has characteristics that are directly opposite from Bob’s father which infer that the Starrett household functions because of the members and the fact that each individual is unique in their own way. It is a combination between their different personalities and their strong efforts to accomplish their goals that the Starrett household was able to become so successful in such a newly started town. From the beginning of the novel, Bob has a strong interest in Shane riding towards his house which gives the impression right from the start that there is something special about this main character. This was best demonstrated when Bob states, “I was trying to frame a reply and choking on it, when I realized that he was not speaking to me but past me.”(pg.4) This timid moment for Bob gives the representation that Shane was very different from what he usually saw in his father and mother, Joe and Marian, and that there was obviously something unique that he wanted to experience for himself. It was Bob’s openness and curiosity that not only started Shane’s relationship with the family, but also pointed out the attributes needed for their farm’s success. Shane’s personality and attitude was the reason the Starretts were willing to take him despite the difference in culture and style. In Chapter 2 Shane is once again personified as an honest man when he stands up towards Ledyard and his unfair negotiations with Joe. In result to this, Joe was not only able to save money but Shane’s qualities were able to be seen on a deeper level. In result to this event, Shane took part in chopping down a tree, one that Joe himself could not take care of. It is through both of their efforts and hard work that they were able to knock down the tree. Knocking down of the tree demonstrated the theme of unity. Given a job opportunity and the ability to stay, Shane’s speed and intelligence proved to greatly impact the farm’s success. Joe, was depicted throughout the story as a very hard worker where because he could never sit down. From the beginning of the novel Joe’s dedication was represented continuously. This was demonstrated by how his house was nicely painted and maintained, a trait that was hard to come by in their area. Taking in Shane because of his honesty and good will, and making him a part of the family truly demonstrates his humility throughout the novel. In combination with his humility, Joe’s strength is a factor that gives the reader the perception of the difficulty associated with managing these two characteristics. He ultimately demonstrates both of these characteristics when he responds to Bob’s question if he could beat up Shane, in which he states, “Son, that’s a tough question. If I have to, I might do it. But, by Godfrey, I’d hate to try it.” (pg.43) By stating this Joes demonstrates to Bob that no one is able to be the best at something, and that even though he is strong there are many characteristics that he does not have. He ultimately showed that rather than “beating up” Shane he could work with him to improve his farm and family. Marian. Mother. Beauty and affection. Throughout the story she acts as a symbol of perfection. No matter what she is doing whether it is cooking or making clothes, she wants to do it to the best of her ability. An example of this is when she accidentally burned the pie. She refused to join the table to eat until it was fully prepared. Acting as the standard for the household, Marian made sure that anything out of place was corrected, which might remind the reader of his or her own motherly figure. Marian gives the reader the impression that every individual of a family has a large influence in their family’s success. I found relevance to the novel of Shane, in an event I attended about Sexual Diversity Awareness. In going to the lection “On Being Gay In Non-Gay Place” I was able to witness what some homosexual peers and faculty members go through on a day to day basis. Describing the awkwardness of certain situations as well as personal information about how they were able to come up with the amount of confidence to tell the ones they loved who they truly were, I could not see why people would discriminate towards them. Regardless of what their sexual orientation was they all represent and unify Loyola in their own ways. For an example I really enjoyed Tim Cherney’s speech because his use of comedy to describe some situations he experienced showed me that like in Shane, people should not be judged by their appearance or sexual orientation, but their hard work and dedication.