Part 1: How does Marian conform or not conform to the stereotypical idea of a woman in the world of this story? Does she act in expected ways, or does she surprise the characters around her? What is her role in this story? Is it possible for her to be a hero like other characters in this book?

Marian conforms to the stereotypical role of a woman in the world by being caring, sensitive and portraying all the characters that makes a woman ideal in the society. It has been evident from the story that she always catered to the needs of her husband and family. She stayed loyal to her husband and family despite having strong feelings for Shane. She had been very welcoming and respectful towards her guests. She depicted many feminine features in the story that are typical of women. For instance, she stared to cry when Shane came back wounded. Instead of getting jealous, Joe showed open mindedness and embraced Marian’s emotions towards Shane. He said “Don’t fret you, Marian. I’m man enough to know a better when his trail meets mine.” (Schaefer 91). Hence, she gave a strong feminine touch in the story along with all the emotional aspects being associated with a female stereotype. However, such stages also came in the story where she acted in certain ways which are against the normal image of a woman. She has been described in the start of the book as being unpredictable as she usually used to surprise the people around her. She was seen to give meaningful insights during critical situations. For example, when the heroes were in a perplexity to either leave the farm or stay, she made a very wise speech by saying “I just know that we’re bound up in something bigger than any one of us” (Schaefer 103). Her role is so inspiring that in spite of being a feminine character, she managed to grab readers’ attention. It is possible to be a hero by character but due to female stereotype, she cannot dominate the role of male heroes no matter how inspiring her character was. However, she can be a hero in the hearts of the readers by being a marvelous character.

Part2: What made Shane acquire a heroic figure in the story? Was it those heroic attributes that made Marian attracted towards Shane?

In this story self-assurance, curiousness, bravery, manly behavior and what we should admire in people we consider heroes, are the attributes that make Shane a hero. Shane used to help the family of Marian without any demand for financial gratification in return. These characters make him ideal for being stereotypical of a hero in the society. Marian showed certain attributes that were valued in that era but the feminist element was dominant in her character. Marian played the role of a respectful mother and a faithful wife. She had a natural desire to cook delicious meals and used to welcome and serve her guests well. She supported Shane and Joe to address their shortcomings but in a respectful and polite manner. Hence, Shane was manly and had physical power. However, Marian demonstrated strength of character. It is the main difference which makes Shane a hero and Marian a heroine figure.