In Shane by Jack Schaefer, actions and attitudes develop archetypes of two important men. Through their triumphs and failures, Shane is characterized as of a hero and mentor, and Fletcher as a shadow.
Shane expresses the qualities of a hero, both physically and mentally. Shane appears in the valley with matching pants and an elegantly worn out coat and a black dress hat. This hero is aristocratic and well dressed in order to convince the reader that he is a mysterious character that has survived many battles. Shane's body is not as brawny as his friend Joe Starret's, but "what he lacks in size and strength he makes up in quickness of movement, an instinctive coordination of mind and muscle and in a sudden fierce energy that burned within him." Heroes are not always powerful because of their strength, but for their aptitude or mental ability. Shane is admired for his acumen in solving problems. Shane relentlessly attacks Chris and Morgan as well as the stump which are obstacles in his seemingly smooth path. Shane courageously defeats Wilson to defend Joe and the other homesteaders. Shane demonstrates he is a hero by fighting with Wilson to support Joe for his right to his land. Shane only challenges the rival because he instinctively shields others from danger.
The archetype of a mentor, portrayed by Shane, acts like a parent, guides the student and gives advice. Shane is the patient teacher, who trains Bob to handle a gun, to ride "tall and straight" in the saddle and who advises him that fighting is not learned, it comes naturally. The significance of Shane's impact on Bob is inestimable. Bob follows in Shane's shadows investigating the elegance of Shane's style. The first view of Shane is as though he is simply "another stray horseman" but Bob realizes he is very rare. Bob watches Shane from the moment he reaches the fork in the path through the time he crosses back through the threshold between his warrior life and his domestic life. Longing to be...
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