Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
Set in 1857, Broken Lance follows Angus and Callie McCracken, emigres to the United States who have converted to the Mormon faith, as they trek west to join other Mormons in Salt Lake City. The novel opens with the McCracken family—Angus, Callie, and their three children—along with other individuals encountering a group of Cheyenne Indians who are attacking their wagon party. While Callie and her children remain hidden, Angus and the other men attempt to fight off the Indians. In the process, Angus is killed. In the meantime, Callie and her children have hidden in a secret compartment in the wagon, safe from harm. Once the Indians have left, Callie emerges to discover her husband’s body. Determined that her children not see her bury their father, she demands that they stay in the wagon. Callie must then determine how she and her children, stranded in Wyoming, are to make their way to the closest fort, which is Fort Bridger.
Thus, Callie and her children, along with what small provisions they have, trek through the wilderness of Wyoming. At first, she is alone in protecting her children and making sure they have enough food. However, at one point, Callie comes across a wounded Indian. When she sees him, “Callie’s first impulse was victorious revenge. Something sweetly exuberant rose inside of her at the sight of a red savage devastated and defenseless.” Even though this particular Indian has done no harm to her, she still feels hatred...
(The entire section is 841 words.)
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