Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Shane Read-Along: Chapter 4

(I kind of really want this edition,
simply because the cover is so great.)
I love how Bob describes the effect Shane has on the whole family.  "They were more alive, more vibrant, like they wanted to show more what they were, when they were with him" (p. 30).  I guess you could call Shane a catalyst -- he's speeding up the events around him and changing the people who contact him, without himself changing.

The big conflict ahead is starting to glimmer, isn't it?  Joe mentions briefly that his last hired man ran into some trouble with Fletcher's men in town, and Shane tries to ask about it, but Joe deflects the question, and Shane lets it lie.  For now.  Don't you get the feeling he's been in this sort of situation before?  Possibly on the other side, as one of the men hired by the big outfit to crowd out the little ones?  Maybe that's why he's so willing to stay on -- he can see the warning signs that Joe's ignoring, and he wants to be there to help these folks who are so decent to him.

Anyway, I love the whole description of Shane's gun too.  Especially how "[t]he smooth invitation of it tempted your grip" (p. 37).  Ooooh, that's lovely writing.

Possible Discussion Questions:  Why do you suppose Shane doesn't wear his gun?  I know we'll get more into that in a bit, but from just what you've read so far, have you got any thoughts?

8 comments:

  1. In one sense, its absence is somewhat of a disguise. Just as he has changed his clothing to that of a farmer, he has disarmed himself. And hiding the gun from Bob, I can't imagine Shane allowing Bob to handle it without very careful supervision. I think Shane wanted Bob to grow up in his father's image, definitely not a wandering gunslinger. Here's slight jump ahead, I think from Wikipedia.The movie director was determined that Alan Ladd would do the sharp shooting scene with the cans on the fence rail with Bob watching. The scene looks quite impressive. Alan had argued that he had no ability to handle a gun. I suppose this was a version of chopping out the stump between the Director and the actor. Alan Ladd pulled it off *on take 115.* I can understand the Director's stance. It's real, not one of those "suspend belief" situations. I am surprised that Alan didn't show up with a wrist splint the next day.

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    1. I'm chortling aloud at that story! Take 115 -- oh my giddy aunt. Made his point, did he? That is awesome!

      You're right, it IS a disguise of sorts. Nice.

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  2. I forget why Shane does not wear his gun. I watched the movie a while ago, so I kind of forget. I'm guessing that Shane does not wear his gun because he has a bad memory connected to it. It is obvious that he is good with a gun and treasures it because it is a very fine gun but because of his bad experience he doesn't use it. That's my theory at least, and it's probably wrong. :-)

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    1. Ekaterina, I think that's definitely part of it, that it reminds him of things he did in the past that he wants to forget.

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  3. Ooooh, the speculation about him being a hired gun before makes perfect sense. Great theory. I don't really care about guns either way (I mean, I think they're good for protecting people and I'm definitely not calling for stricter gun laws or anything) but Shane's gun is definitely something out of the ordinary. I'm trying to get Noah to read this book because he loves guns of any kind. :)

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    1. Eva, let me know what Noah thinks of it if you do get him to read it! I'm thinking I'll let Sam take a crack at it in a couple years. It does have those occasional cuss words, so I'm holding off until he's like 9 or so... which, actually, is later this year.

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  4. Maybe Shane doesn't want his gun to be his first reaction to violence. Maybe he wants to fight and defend, but not necessarily kill. I can't really imagine any other real reason why a man like Shane wouldn't wear his gun.

    Now I'm curious as to how much influence Shane has over the coming events, whether he starts them, finishes them, or simply observes them. There's obviously going to be a conflict and I do wonder at his role.

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    1. Carissa, I do like that -- that he's not giving himself that option on a day-to-day basis. I also feel like he's trying to distance himself from that part of who he has been, who he is -- by deliberately not wearing his gun, he's showing that right now, he is not a gunfighter. He's a hired man. Please treat him as such.

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What do you think?

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)