Wednesday, November 14, 2012


            The characters in the novel Shane, along with myself, have undergone processes of change. These processes of change came in numerous forms, such as challenges and acquiring new hobbies. One particular day, in the life of the characters of Shane, stands out to me. The day is one of “resting” for Joe, baking for Marian, waiting for Shane, and observing for Bob. As the day passes, events occur to transform the characters. I underwent an unexpected change when I attended a Native American Week event. Similarly to Shane who knew nothing about farming, I knew nothing about how to make a dream catcher, yet an indescribable force pulled me in.  The task may have taken me over an hour, but during this time I learned about a new culture, made a few new acquaintances, and finally completed a dream catcher. I took up the challenge and now can say I have a new hobby of being craftier.
 In Shane, Joe and Shane overcome internal struggles by conquering a tree stump together. They spend the entire day in silence using all their force, determination, and heart to defeat what remained of the tree. Bob narrated after the stump was out; “I thought they should join the hands so close on the bole of the stump”. Even though the men had separate goals, they needed each other to conquer the beast. This beast was the stump and also the battle inside them. The stump had been the one thing Joe could not fix for his family. The stump had also represented Shane’s past and his new found loyalty to Joe and his family. Even in the silence, the two men transformed by learning new things about each other and themselves. They overcame challenges and created a strong brotherly bond even though they were merely strangers.
That same day, Marian conquered her fleeting issue of self-esteem. When Shane arrived, he introduced the current, big-city fashions to Marian, which made her crave the fantasy of living off the farm. She decided that she would bake a new pie, and even when she burnt it, the determination did not go up in flames with it. She simply stated, “I was planning to have a deep-dish apple pie. Well, I will.” Marian may have had to skip dinner, which seemed stubborn at the time, but when she finished cooking her transformation was revealed. She felt at home feeding her company, and came to the recognition that she would not want any other life. Shane makes the change obvious by stating, “That’s the best stump I’ve ever tasted.” He compares the leap of faith she took with the pie, and its’ success, to that of their defeated stump.
Later in the novel, Shane went through a separate and pivotal change after fighting Chris. Bob narrated, “He had lost the serenity that had seeped into him through the summer”, as well as, “He was restless with some far hidden desperation”. When Shane walked away from Chris the first time, he had felt as if he walked away from his past. He showed indescribable strength and did not want to throw away what he had with his new family. This loyalty for his “folks” needed to be protected, so he made the choice to fight Fletcher’s man. This change was positive and negative. It was positive because he stood up for the people who mattered in his life. It was negative because he had to give in to his dangerous, past self. My change while making the dream catcher was positive and negative as well. It was positive because I overcame a challenge to make a beautiful piece of art. The negative aspect was that I realized how impatient and how much frustration is built up inside me. 

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