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Shane

Main Ideas

Key Facts

Main Ideas Key Facts

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