Sunday, February 14, 2016

Shane Read-Along: Chapter 13

(I'm stepping up the pace for these last few chapters, if that's okay with everyone -- I figure if I post one chapter every-other-day, we can finish this book by the end of the week and not leave anyone hanging much longer!)

Poor Bob.  He seems so young and lost as he wanders around the farm, unable to make himself actually do anything, but also unable to sit down with the adults until he's exhausted a few restless options.

But returning to the adults isn't much better.  Joe's making speeches about how he knows Shane will take care of Marian and Bob, which of course sends Shane off to the barn to put on his gun, his old clothes, and his former self.

And I love Shane here, more than ever, as he prepares to go take down the baddies in Joe's stead.  He makes me want to cry -- he's so Shakespearean, somehow.  Makes me think of Hamlet's "The readiness is all" speech.  He knows what needs doing, and he's ready for whatever may happen in the process.

Favorite Lines:

They knew that talk is meaningless when a common knowledge is already there (p. 98).

All that mattered was the length of the shadows creeping across the yard as the sun drove down the afternoon sky (p. 99).

"Things could be worse.  It helps a man to know that if anything happens to him, his family will be in better hands than his own (p. 100).

You could see now that for the first time this man who had been living with us, who was one of us, was complete, was himself in the final effect of his being (p. 101).

Slim and dark in the doorway, he seemed somehow to fill the whole frame (p. 102).

"There's no man living can tell me what I can't do.  Not even you, Joe" (p. 103).

"Tell him no man need be ashamed of being beaten by Shane" (p. 103).

"We have battered down words that might have been spoken between us and that was as it should be" (p. 104).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Joe believes that if he faced down Wilson and Fletcher and died in the process, Shane would marry Marian and take over the ranch.  Do you think that would actually have happened?  Could Shane have stayed there as a farmer/rancher?


  1. I don't think Shane could have stayed a farmer or rancher. It is just not in his nature of who he is.

    I can't wait for this next scene!! I really wanted to go on to the next chapter, but I made myself not to until I had read what you had written about this chapter. I think I am going to finish the next two chapters together, though.

    I wanted to cry too when Shane put on his own clothes and gun. I didn't think of Hamlet but now that you mention it, Shane does remind me of Hamlet during that one speech.

    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one crying over this book!

      Everything reminds me of Hamlet...

  2. Yes, this one is a tear jerker. Usually you'll get one character who wringes your heart, or at best ill-crossed stars of lovers. But all four,including a child who shows us the deepest innocence,that's rare. I picture Shane transforming himself with Hamlet's "If it be now. 'tis not to come;if it be not now,yet it will come."

    It hurts to know that there is doubt now. Don't you think that something or someone had somehow given his him chance to bond with the Starretts? Shane has a particular attachment with Bob; he even makes up the nickname Bobby Bob. He wants to teach him the differences between tools and weapons.Had Joe died I can picture Shane *trying* to maintain the farm but there would be 2 problems: no much how he loved Marian, he couldn't take "Joe's wife" and after a period of peace, his name was back in the public eye as a very deadly gunslinger. That's a challenge to every young wannabe-gunman to claim the title himself.It would be good if Shane had known how Chris turned out.

    but the problem

    1. Kelda, it's no wonder you and I both love this book, since Shane does bear some similarities to Hamlet, especially here.

      So do you think Joe genuinely believed Shane would stay on, marry Marian, take over the farm -- or is he just trying to convince himself of this to give himself courage to go to town?

      Yes, that's one thing I like better in the movie than the book -- Chris gets to show Shane how he's changed.

    2. I honestly don't know if Joe believes Shane will be there for Marian and Bob. He has made many references to Shane's strengths and loyalties, but he also recognizes Shane's dark past and must realize he is pushing Shane back into the darkness. Only Marian seems to realize that.Chris is a minor character,but when he walks in with his arm in a sling & a bottle of soda in his hand, okay - few more tears. I'm not usually a crier, but Shane & Hamlet get me every time. I do worry that it won't be long before Fletcher will send someone for Chris, to set an example for any other fence jumpers.
      Suppose it had turned out that Shane had married Marian.I think Bob would have loved him from the start. And Shane would do all he could to up Bob like his father.

    3. Fletcher is dead, so I don't worry about Chris. I do worry that someone will buy up his big spread and try taking over the town like he did, but that's too much speculation to really bother me.

      If Joe died, I don't know if Marian would want to stay, anyway. Perhaps she would have married Shane and they would have started over somewhere clean, where no one knew them and no one would gossip.

  3. No, I don't think Shane could have ever really settled down and worked contentedly at farming/ranching for the rest of his life. And for some reason, I can't see him marrying Marian. (If Joe had died and Shane *had* married Marian, how do you think Bob would've reacted? What would he have thought about that?)

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the movie came in the mail today, so we might watch it tonight. (Or Friday if we don't have enough time tonight.)

    1. Eva, I think that maybe Bob would have been kind of okay with it. He would remember this, that Joe basically gave them his blessing. I think that of the three of them, he would feel the least weird about it.

      MOVIE!!!!!!!!! I'm in the midst of screencapping it for a long and squeeful review.

    2. That makes sense. But I really can't see Shane ever staying in any place for very long. (I thought the movie put that point across quite well, especially in the last scene. *sniffff*)

    3. Eva, I spent 3 hours screencapping the movie today. If you want any pics of anything specific, let me know. I kind of have a zillion now.

      But yeah, he drifts, and that's all there is to it.


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