“He was the man who rode into our little valley out of the heart of the great glowing West and when his work was done rode back whence he had come and he was Shane. ” He was a murderer, that’s what he thought. Thus, he left. But the community found another definition for his mysterious departure. He was now known and remembered as a hero of the West. In the novel written by Jack Schaefer, there are several actions and attitudes that develop the prime example to the important characters in the book, and depict them as either a hero or a villain.
Through his accomplishments and failures, Shane, the character of whom the book speaks, is represented as a hero. Shane embodies the essence of a hero on the first day he arrives to that small valley, with his luxurious worn-out coat, matching pants, and a black hat; clothes that no homesteader that resided there and Bob, the main character and also the narrator, have seen before. Shane demonstrates humility, a trait that many heroes, either they’re super or not, possess; Shane is also down-to-earth and humble, and is aware of the fact that one does not have the right to take another man's life, and when one does so, that marks him for life.
Above all the qualities that Shane has, the one that seems the most hero-attributed is his selfless acts of protecting someone else; in this case the homesteaders and their homes. Shane expresses the qualities of a hero, both physically and mentally, that is, he is both strong and loyal. Shane has many traits that illustrate that of a hero; such as how he portrays himself, his ability to be humble, and his need to protect others. Heroes aren’t considered as such just because of their strength, but also because of their aptitudes and intellectual capacities.
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Shane is admired for his good judgment when solving problems. He doesn’t give up when he attacks Chris and Morgan as well as the stump in the farm which are obstacles in his apparently smooth trail. Shane audaciously defeats Wilson to defend Joe and the other homesteaders, thus demonstrating he is a hero by fighting with the gunman to support Joe for his right to his land. Shane only challenges the rival because he unconsciously protects others from danger.
The whole idea of Shane facing Wilson was to prevent Starrett’s family from handing their farm over to Fletcher, as well as ending that nightmare within the other homesteaders’ homes. He alone decided to face and vanquish ‘evil’, as he shoots down both Wilson and Fletcher. After this occurrence, however, he feels the need of disappearing into thin air, as if he’s implying that his work is done. After the incident in the bar, “The folks in town and the kids at school like to talk about him. ” Shane had become a legend amongst the residents of the Valley.
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