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A Book Report On Jack Shaeffer Essay, Research Paper

The plot of Shane is a simple one. The refined stranger who has happened upon the Starrett homestead, we discover, is a virtuous gunfighter who is attempting to begin a new life. When Joe Starrett, Bob’s father, invites him to stay on as a hired hand, he agrees, having learned from Joe that the previous hand had been run off by Fletcher, the powerful and unscrupulous rancher vying for land with the homesteaders in the area. The trust Joe places in Shane helps to forge an uncommon bond of friendship between the two men, which inevitably embroils Shane in the escalating conflict.

Several subplots lend added depth to the story. The most important involves the growing attraction Marian Starrett and Shane feel for each other, notwithstanding her deep love for Joe and Shane’s loyalty toward him. In the end, however, it is Bob’s unwavering love and admiration for Shane (and Shane’s tender feeling for him) that is the heart of the story, as is evident in such lines as these, found at critical points throughout:

For all his dark appearance and lean and hard look, this Shane knew what would please a boy. . . . [M]y heart ached for him. . . . Love for that man raced through me. .. . and I was so proud of being there with him that I could not keep the tears from my eyes. . . . He knew what goes on in a boy’s mind and what can help him stay clean inside through the muddled, dirtied years of growing up.

Although the end leaves the relationship between Shane and Marian, the end does leave the story open for the possibility that Shane has simply moved on to another town and that the story will go on.

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