Shane Essay, Research Paper


Shane is a classic example of western fiction in which Schaefer contrasts the values of the

isolated family

farm with the lawlessness of the cowtown. Shane, the gunfighter protagonist, attempts to

find peace with

the farmers but can only help clear away the violence for the civilization the farmers bring.


reveals the difficult struggles of homesteaders who fight to bring justice to an ungoverned

land, and strives

to fulfill the hopes and promises of prosperity to their families. The reality in the struggles

of these farmers

were supported with an accurate correspondence to history (e.g. The Homestead Act) and

with detailed and

atmospheric languages. The language is easily understandable and helps the reader to

better comprehend

the book. It is simply a great page turner.

Although it is a fictional work, it does not fail to portray the harsh life style of the

westerners of

the 1800’s. While the book depicts some of the western struggles, it adds an element of

suspense as a novel

as well with the battle between a protagonist and antagonists. Images of blood occur often

in the book to

emphasize the risk involved in living a western life, especially where justice does not exist.

The simple

language of the book does not hinder from creating its lively images, rather it makes it

easier for the readers

to comprehend the book. The absence of flashbacks or allusions further strengthens the

simplicity of the


The story is told through the eyes of an omniscient observer who especially

concentrates on the

Starrett family. Such concentration does not allow the reader to observe the lifestyles of


homesteaders; the Starrett family basically symbolizes the homesteader of that era. This

particular view-

point favors the triumph of good versus the evil. This old-fashioned philosophy on the

battles between the

good versus evil is still a universal theme, and therefore is able to appeal to today’s young


Despite the brevity of the book, Schaefer has included all the necessary items to

describe the lives

of homesteaders: the struggle against famines, the competition for more land, etc. The

author has limited

the sophistication of its language because the novel is geared toward younger ages, and to

tell the lives of

simple homesteaders in a simple and undisguised way. Furthermore, the author has

admirably utilized its

simple language to bring a novel filled with gracious images of hope and death. The

universal theme of

good versus evil creates the suspense required for the novel and is appealing even to the

modern society.

This novel is more than a mere juvenile literature because it teaches the cruelty of life in

the society by

using the homesteader, which can be better related to adults.

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