Lonesome Dove Literary Elements

Lonesome Dove Literary Elements



Setting and Context

The story is set in the 19th century in Texas.

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told from a third person omniscient and objective point of view. This type of narrative technique allows the reader to move from one character to another and to present the story from different perspectives.

Tone and Mood

Violent, tragic, melancholic

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist is Gus and the antagonist is Blue Duck.

Major Conflict

Since the story follows different stories, there are multiple conflicts presented in the novel. For example, a conflict is between Jack and July, the later hunting down Jack for killing his brother. Another conflict is between Gus and the Indian to kidnapped Lorena and it is alludes that the two had problems with one another since the time when they were both young.


A climatic moment can be considered the moment when July returns to his camp to find everyone dead, killed by Blue Duck.


The storm that appears at the end of the 30th chapter foreshadows the troubles the camp will have to face and the dangers they will encounter.


Before stating on their journey, Call expresses his hope that everything will go smoothly and that no one will die during the trip. In fact, he is confident that no one will be injured and that everyone will reach Montana safely. This is however an understatement as only a few days later after starting their journey the group loses its first man, a young boy named Sean who dies after being bitten by snakes.




In chapter 60, the narrator describes the gruesome way Dog Face was killed by Blue Duck. The narrator describes in great detail how Blue Duck castrated Dog Face, scalped him and how he made Duck Face eat his own genitalia. Through this, Blue Duck is portrayed as a savage who only cares about hurting other people and who does not have any type of compassion for no one.


The relationship between Jack and Lorena is paradoxical because while she wants to be free and independent, she still stays close to Jack and lets him control her life. Even after Jack becomes violent with her, she still stays with him and remains by his side.


A parallel can be drawn between Newt and Call in the sense that they are the complete opposite. While they both do the same things to earn a living, Newt is kind-hearted and his intentions are pure. In comparison with Call, Newt is as inoffensive as a mouse, an idea suggested by the name Newt gave to his horse, Mouse.

Metonymy and Synecdoche




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