Shovels Vs. Guns Novel Analysis

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Shovels v. Guns According to Merriam-Webster a tool is “a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task.” If this definition is correct than guns are tools. Guns make killing animals and humans much easier the same way that shovels make digging a hole less difficult. However, not every “tool” is required to be a hard metal device. Jack Schaefer’s Shane casts two main characters as tools within the story; one character is a gun and the other is a shovel. Shane the main character in the novel believes that guns are tools and the morality of the tool depends on the person wielding the gun. He makes his stance clear when he is speaking to Bob Starrett, “[a] gun is just a tool. No better or worse than any other tool…(55).” His view of gums as tools is important because he exemplifies the gun of the story. Much like a gun’s function is killing, one of Shane’s main functions of the story is killing fletcher. From the very beginning Shane fits the description of a gun, particularly his own. When Shane first rides into the Starrett’s homestead, Bob describes Shane’s clothes: He wore dark trousers of some serge material tucked into tall boots and held at the…show more content…
Throughout the novel Schaefer clearly portrays Joe as a farmer. To Joe, nothing is as vital as his farm and family. His goal is to have a bit more land to raise cattle on and farm. He is a man’s man, comparable to Shane, but he is not branded deadly like Shane. However, Joe can be dangerous. For example, when Shane is brawling in the bar with several men, Joe comes in primed and trembling with anger. Once inside the bar, Joe immediately rushes to assist Shane is the battle (92-93). This passage is fundamental in character development, because it shows that Joe will not stand for injustice. Joe’s decision to take part in the fight displays how tools have multiple purposes and although Joe is a farmer he is not afraid to stand up for himself and

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