Lonesome Dove

Living and Dying By the Code of the West - Personality Counts

Most novelists do not kill off half of the characters in their book to prove a point, but this one does. The tragic, bloody deaths in the novel only enforce the fact that the West was wild and could not be conquered by any one human, no matter how muchexperience or knowledge that person had. Larry McMurtry wrote the western Lonesome Dove to show (contrary to some romantic myths) how harsh and bloody the untamed West was. The bravest and most moral person could die just as tragically as the ignorant coward. This novel displays how people conduct themselves in different situationsaccording to their personality traits.

The best-developed characters in Lonesome Dove display distinct personalities. Jake Spoon, Augustus "Gus" McCrae, and Woodrow Call used to be Texas Rangers, fighting together for the common good of making the West safer to populate. They separated over time, but the novel begins when they reunite later in their lives. At Jake's suggestion, the three round up some friends and decide to go on a three-thousand-milecattle drive from Lonesome Dove, Texas, to the highlands of Montana. Jake persuades his friends to go on the drive by telling them of the paradise to be found on the rich and unsettled frontier....

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