In the novel Montana 1948, the relationship between David and his father is complex and distant, and leads us to better understand the struggles that they both face, and their development throughout the novel. Their relationship also helps the reader to understand the importance of positive role models for young children, and the conflict between justice and family loyalty, both of which are difficult themes that they face. Though, as the reader we don’t see into Wesley’s thoughts and emotions, (like we do David’s) through their relationship and the manner at which David views his father, we can develop a good understanding of both characters throughout the novel.
Although David and his father love each other, their relationship in the novel is generally tense and distant as they struggle to relate with one another, and fail to recognise the trials that the other faces during Montana 1948. One of the most notable difficulties that impedes on their relationship is Wesley’s profession as a sheriff. Frank’s crimes and Wesley’s inaction to them, drives a wedge into his father-son relationship, as David fails to appreciate the moral dilemmas that come with Wesley’s job, and can’t understand why his father doesn’t enjoy being a...
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Essay on Montana 1948
829 Words4 Pages
Montana 1948 is about the loss of innocence and the painful gain of wisdom. Discuss.
Montana 1948 a series of tragic events were to have a major impact on David and his parents. David’s shocking revelations lead to his painful gaining of wisdom. When David’s story begins, his life is a stable and happy one, and his family are close and loving. It is this stability and respect though, in which the much loved and admired Frank is held by both the townspeople and David, that make the events which occur so shocking, particularly for David.
David must pretend, not just for the remainder of the novel, but for the next forty years, to be ignorant of Frank’s crimes, and much of what is happening because his parents do not realise that he has…show more content…
Larry Watson suggests that traumatic experiences transform children into adults, and that disturbing experiences lead to changes of mind, growth in morals, and an emerging sense of adulthood.
David changes his mind about Uncle Frank through the experience. He used to be David’s idol and he adored him. But that all changed when David’s housekeeper and baby sitter, Marie Little Soldier, becomes violently ill and is in need of a doctor. Wes Hayden, David’s father, calls his brother Frank, who is the town doctor, to come and see her. Strangely enough, Marie Little Soldier refuses to be alone in the room with Frank. Later on, Marie tells David’s mother horrible things that Frank has been doing to Native American women. David’s mother, Gail, tells Wes and David overhears. She says, ‘Wesley, your brother has been raping these women. These girls. These Indian girls…… I was beginning already to think of Uncle Frank as a criminal…Charming, affable Uncle Frank was gone for good”.
David learns a great lesson about morals from all the events that occur. Marie is found dead a few days after Frank goes in to see her. Frank claims she died of pneumonia. David’s next-door neighbour, Daisy McAuley, goes to their house to comfort Gail. Daisy treats David maternally and wants him to leave the “scene of the crime.” So she tells him to go over to her house and have a piece of pie. While he’s there, David encounters the deputy sheriff, Len McAuley. Len is drunk and reveals the