Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shane Read-Along: Chapter 11

I'm having some trouble writing about this chapter.  It's just so awful, isn't it?  Fletcher has hired this Stark Wilson person, who's basically an evil version of Shane, and they've killed off a homesteader, and it's just horrible.  Because you know Shane's going to have to Do Something, and Joe's going to want to Do Something to save him from having to do that, but but but but...

Like I said, I'm having some trouble writing about this chapter.

Favorite Lines:

"When there's noise, you know where to look and what's happening.  When things are quiet, you've got to be most careful" (p. 82).

I was pressed close to mother, grateful for her arms around me.  I noticed that she had little attention for the other men.  She was watching Shane, bitter and silent across the room (p. 87).

"Now he'll head straight for the one real man in this valley, the man who's held you here and will go on trying to hold you and keep for you what's yours as long as there's life in him" (p. 88).

     "You seem to know a lot about that kind of dirty business," Ed Howells said, with maybe an edge of malice to his voice.
     "I do."
     Shane let the words lie there, plain and short and ugly.  His face was stern and behind the hard front of his features was a sadness that fought to break through (p. 89).

"We've got to be the kind of people Shane thinks we are" (p. 92).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Joe says, "Shane won his fight before ever he came riding into this valley.  It's been tough enough on him already.  Should we let him lose just because of us?" (p. 91).  What fight do you think he's talking about here?  What might Shane lose if they stay and take Fletcher on?


  1. This one really is a tough chapter, you're right. It's never fun when people get killed like that, for no good reason other than big guys are trying to take something from the little guys.

    As for Shane's fight, I'm guessing he's not the same man he was however many years ago, before he met the Starretts. He might have even looked something like Stark Wilson with how he little he may have valued human life. But he's changed. He's won that fight in himself. And now, because of his loyalty to the Starretts, he's having to turn back towards violence. Joe doesn't really want to be the person to awaken that side of Shane again. I think it makes him sad to see it happening.

    1. Can I just curl up in a ball and pull the covers over my head until it's all over?


      It's one of those books that hurts so good.

      And yes, I completely agree with your answer.

  2. "...who's basically an evil version of Shane."

    Yes. That's exactly right.

    I don't really have much to say about this chapter either, other than the fact that when I first read it I was surprised that there was an actual, rather pointless (pointless because they didn't HAVE to kill that homesteader and I hate that) death. I don't know why I was surprised, but I was.

    By the way, Dad ordered a copy of Shane (the movie) from Amazon so now we'll have it in our collection. Pretty excited about that. :)

    1. Eva, his death is pointless within the story, but from a writer's point of view, it's totally necessary, don't you think? Otherwise, we readers wouldn't believe Wilson was a true threat. And the ending wouldn't work.

      I'm going to watch the movie this weekend and review it next week :-D Looking forward to comparing thoughts on it with you!

    2. Definitely, from a writer's point of view. But from a reader's...I still hate it. (It's just like in Monk, a detective show that my family watches a lot, where the murder that galvanizes the whole plot usually ends up being done for pointless reasons. *sigh*)

    3. Yes, it's a terrible waste. But it had to be a small, petty, pointless murder. That's precisely what would rile Joe Starrett up the most, and Fletcher knew it.

      I've watched an ep or two of Monk -- my mom's a fan. I'd like to see more of it someday.

    4. I'm thinking of putting together a post highlighting my favorite episodes of Monk, so that could be a good place to get ideas for new ones to watch.


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