On November 14, 2012 I attended the lecture presented by ALANA and the Native American Student Association here at Loyola. Luis Eagle Warrior, a Native American Indian who resides in Delaware with his tribe, gave the lecture. Luis Eagle Warrior is a member of the Lenape tribe, and Lenape means we the people. He spoke of the many different brother and sister tribes across the nation such as the Cheyenne tribe. He plays the Native American flute and the author of the book Dynamics of the Self. Although Eagle Warrior touched on many interesting topics about his Indian tribe, there few a few points that I felt directly correlated with Shane by Jack Schaefer. These two relate because the aspects of dressing differently, being protective, and forming roots in one’s homeland.
At first glance Luis Eagle Warrior was dressed very differently compared to the faculty and students seen roaming the campus everyday. He wore his native clothing that he wears everyday on the reservation. It was worn over his other clothes and was brightly colored with blue, yellow, red and an eagle imprinted in the center. This relates to Shane because at the beginning of the novel Shane is dressed rather differently from other western people of the town where Bob Starret lived with his parents. Shane came riding passed the Starret’s house wearing dark colored everything, pants, boots, hat, coat, and belt. Clothing is significant because it gives off a certain impression of a person. Eagle Warrior wears bright colored clothing and bright colors usually indicate happiness, joy, and friendliness. Shane, on the other hand, wears dark colors, which usually relate to gloomy thoughts, and often give the impress that the person is unapproachable.
Throughout the novel Shane is very protective of the Starret family and their farm. Fletcher continuously tries his hardest to provoke Joe into selling him his farm until Shane comes to town and begins staying with the Joe and his family. Shane encountered multiple altercations with other townspeople who are supporters of Fletcher such as Chris and Stark Wilson. Shane gets into bar fights with both of these men in order to protect Joe’s family. He first gets into a brawl with Chris and it results in Shane breaking Chris’ arm. The other altercation with Stark Wilson ends on a more serious note where Shane ends up killing him. Due to the seriousness of the situation Shane decides it is time for him to leave town although Bob tries his hardest to convince him otherwise. This marks how Shane was a hero and protector in the novel. Luis Eagle Warrior described the support behind a tribe and how a reservation came together years ago to protect each other. He described how in the past when Indian tribes were often attacked they needed to be alert and have protective instincts at all times. Eagle Warrior spoke of how whether the person lived or died it was an honor because no matter they fought for their tribe and what they loved above all else. These give depictions of true heroes who fought what they believed in no matter what the consequences were.
Indians on a reservation are rooted there for life. They build their families there and stay there indefinitely. Eagle Warrior described the history behind his tribe and how they had been residing there in Delaware for decades. These related to Shane because at the end of the novel when Shane leaves, Joe contemplates selling his farm to Fletcher and moving on as well. Joe’s wife, Marian, tells him that they can only move if he can uproot the posts that Shane had put around the farm during his time with them. Joe says he cannot accomplish that task and his wife responds by saying that they are rooted to their land and cannot abandon it for the sake of their family and for Shane. Families form special memories in their homes and moving is always a bittersweet feeling, these two examples portray just how profound some memories can be that link a person or family to their home, reservation or farm.
The lecture with Luis Eagle Warrior and the novel Shane by Jack Schaefer are two completely unrelated ideas that had many aspects in common. Luis Eagle Warrior describes the importance of having pride in where you come from, protecting your own, and forming permanent memories to your homeland. Schaefer similarly depicts these points by the difference in clothing between Shane and the townspeople, Shane’s protective instincts over the Starret family and their farm, and how he made the family recognize their connection to their farm. These main ideas can been depicted in one’s own home and even here at Loyola. Loyola takes pride in being a Jesuit institution that lives by the motto of “living for and with others”. As a student body Loyola students go above and beyond to live up to this Jesuit belief. Loyola protects its own as well as others. We come together and help fellow students in need and their families when necessary, for instance with providing counseling and support for those students whose families and relatives were badly affect by Hurricane Sandy. Although I am only a first year I can see from the way all the upperclassmen act and carry themselves that they are rooted in Loyola and have a profound connection to this school and the people around them. My only wish is to gain this experience throughout my academic career at Loyola.