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Shane

Jack Schaefer

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions and Essay Topics

full title ·  Shane

author ·  Jack Schaefer

type of work ·  Novel

genre ·  Young adult, Fiction, Old West Fiction

language ·  English

time and place written ·  First a short story written in 1945, then expanded to the full text in 1949 in Norfolk, Virginia

date of first publication ·  1949

publisher ·  Houghton Mifflin

narrator ·  Bob Starrett

point of view ·  First person, reflecting the point of view of Bob Starrett

tone ·  Grave; serious; stoic.

tense ·  Past

setting (time) ·  The book begins in the summer of 1889 and continues the next year.

setting (place) ·  The Starrett's farm in the wilderness of Wyoming

protagonist ·  Shane; Joe Starrett

major conflict ·  The Starretts' refusal to sell their land to Fletcher and the resulting confrontation with Fletcher and his men

rising action ·  Shane's decision to ride into town to take care of Chris after realizing that his decision not to fight was plaguing all of the homesteaders, especially Joe

climax · The fight in which Fletcher's men gang up against Shane; some also consider the fight between Shane and Stark Wilson as the climax.

falling action ·  After the fight with Wilson, Shane's brief conversation with Bob about having to leave because killing "marks" a man, no matter the circumstances

themes ·  Coming of age; what it means to be a man; different kinds of danger, different kinds of fear

motifs ·  Loyalty; vigilance; love of a different name

symbols ·  The tree stump; the fence post; Shane's gun

foreshadowing ·  Bob uncovering Shane's particularly dangerous looking gun; Shane's many predictions about Fletcher's tactics—such as predicting that Fletcher would goad Ernie and then Joe; Joe and Shane's unending wariness

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