Understanding Literature 101
Knowing how to properly deal with people is something that is extremely important for everyone to know how to do. For me, this week’s event was a Jesuit dinner, hosted by Professor Ron Tanner, focusing on how to make friends and influence people. This may sound a little odd but when you think about it there are so many people out there who don’t have a clue when it comes to dealing with others effectively. In Shane by Jack Schaefer the reader sees many examples of how characters do and do not know how to handle social situations in order to get the highest success rate. Shane himself tends to have a certain restraint most of the time that helps him to deal with others
During our dinner we discusses Dale Carnegie who was a professional in the world of self-improvement. He wrote the book How to Win Friends and Influence People that instructed people on how to do just that. It taught them how to successful coexist with others around them by telling them things like: “smile”, “take in interest in other people”, “engage others”, “get others to talk about themselves”, and “call people by their name, their name is most precious to them.” These are all very basic things you can do to engage people successfully. I find it rather interesting that some people need to be taught these kinds of things.
The mysterious cowboy Shane, in my opinion, engages people quite well. Although there are times when he does use violence we must remember that it is a social norm of the time, and it is only out of self-defense. In chapter 8 Bob asks Shane to teach him how to beat a man up just the way Shane did to Chris. Shane replies saying, “"a man can keep his self respect without having to cram it down another man's throat.” As one can see Shane understands how to deal with others. He wants young Bog to understand that fighting really isn’t the appropriate way to deal with others, and clearly wants him to learn nicer and more effective methods.
The people of the town have this uneasiness, slight fear and apprehension about Shane from mostly his outward appearance and things they have seen and heard. The majorities have not taken the time to try to talk with Shane and get to know him. If they tried using some of Dale Carnegie’s methods they would probably be pleasantly surprised. Joe and is family are pretty much the only people who have taken the time to get to know Shane. At that first dinner with Joe, his family, and Shane you see Joe exhibit a good deal of those classic Carnegie traits. Joe smiles at Shane, takes an interest in him and tries to get him to talk about himself. If Joe can do this with a perfect stranger no it is thought that he will be the next mayor.
As one can see the way you connect with others is very important to forming the right kind of relationship. In the book Shane there are many different examples of this. Shane and Joe know how to have successful relationships with others, while some of the townspeople still need work in this area.