Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shane Read-Along: Chapter 6

And now, having simmered merrily along for five chapters, suddenly our story begins to boil.  Mr. Fletcher has returned and is starting to ride prod on the homesteaders, so to speak.  This starts to get under everyone's skin... everyone except maybe Shane.  Bob says he used to "wonder how all the slow-climbing tenseness in our valley could be so focused on one man and he seem to be so indifferent to it" (p. 49).  Though of course, we get the feeling that Shane's not so much indifferent as... accepting?  Almost wanting the badness to focus on him and away from the Starretts and their friends?

So Shane lets Bob tag along as he goes to town and invites a confrontation.  And he gets a confrontation, though it doesn't go down the way anyone was quite expecting.

Favorite Lines:

"Why should a man be smashed because he has courage and does what he's told.  Life's a dirty business, Bob.  I could like that boy" (p. 54).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Do you think Shane suspected how all this would end up, and that's part of why he decided to hire on at the Starrett farm?

9 comments:

  1. Woohoo! My library has this book in a collection of Schaefer's works, which my first search somehow omitted. So I'm on hold and it should be in my hands within a few days. Then I can join in! :)

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    1. Carissa, that's wonderful! It's a super fast read, so I know you'll catch up fast :-)

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  2. I wouldn't be surprised if Shane did know what was about to happen because he seems to be a pretty savvy guy, who has seen and done a lot in life.

    I think Shane doesn't mind being the odd person out, or that all the attention is on him. I feel that I can kind of identify with him because I don't like it when something negative is blamed on my friend, especially if I had something to do with it. I'm used to being the odd one out, so I don't mind, so I like to think that's what Shane is thinking.

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    1. Ekaterina, I agree. Shane has been around. I'm sure that from that first discussion of how Fletcher's been bothering them, he knew the score and could see what was coming.

      And I think you're right -- he's used to being the odd one out, an "other," and he's using that to help the Starretts and their friends.

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  3. Ah, now THIS is my cover. :) I love it.

    Chris! What are your thoughts on him? I half like him, even if he is something of a jerk (not to mention immature) for much of the book. :P

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    1. I have a sort of wistful fondness for Chris.

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    2. I hope Chris learned a lot from Shane, that is, a lot of the goodness Shane had to offer.

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  4. This was a good chapter. It's nice when the action starts rolling in.

    Mmm, about Shane suspecting what would happen from the get-go, I doubt it. He hadn't stopped to talk to anyone else as far as we could tell and likely had no prior knowledge of Fletcher. BUT, while I doubt he originally stayed on for that reason, he is staying on for that reason now. It just likely wasn't his original intent. Now though he's invested in the Starrett's lives and he won't just walk out on them. And his reputation obviously precedes him judging by the new man who didn't stick around long enough to warrant a name. That was a rather hilarious bit!

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    1. I think Shane did see there was going to be major trouble with Fletcher right from the start. Back in chapter one, after their first supper together, he purposely got Joe talking about his plans for the homestead, about Fletcher. Joe said of Fletcher, "He thinks we small fellows are nothing but damned nuisances." Shane replies, "From his point of view, you are" (p. 7). I feel like Shane's seen and heard this sort of conflict before -- big cattle ranch trying to keep small-time farmers from horning in on their ranges. Shane said just a bit earlier in the same conversation, "I've been hearing the same quite a lot lately and from men with pretty clear heads" about Joe's progressive ranching ideas. I get the feeling he's been in exactly this same situation before -- only maybe on the other side. Hired by a big rancher to help push the little men out. So at first, I think he's just kind of curious to see what it looks like from the other side, and thinking maybe he can help even the odds in Joe's favor. I don't think he suspected how deeply he would become emotionally invested in the situation,t hough.

      Yes, the guy leaving before he even faces Shane is pretty funny!

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What do you think?

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