In the book Shane what does "growing up is influenced by people and events under stress" mean ?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The novel Shane by Jack Schaefer is a classic coming of age story as the young protagonist Bob Starrett learns what it means to be a man by observing and learning from his mysterious mentor, Shane.  Thoughout the novel, multiple characters provide different examples of manhood for Bob to observe, from the soft-spoken Joe Starrett to abrasive Chris or Shane; ultimately, Bob learns that how a man deals with hardship, difficult times, or even other people will define what kind of a man he is. 

The quote "growing up is influenced by people and events under stress" relates to Bob's own struggles with discovering his identity and role in society in a small western town in Wyoming.  He learns how to be an honorable man through watching his father and Shane struggle to save his father's farm from Fletcher but also through his relationship with Shane and having to say goodbye to him in the end.  The difficulty of both of those events help define Bob's character--he learns as much from watching Shane's struggles as from his own personal ones; even though the circumstances are difficult, he emerges stronger from having known Shane and more honorable from having witnessed the conflict with Fletcher. 

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The novel Shane by Jack Schaefer is a classic coming of age story as the young protagonist Bob Starrett learns what it means to be a man by observing and learning from his mysterious mentor, Shane.  Thoughout the novel, multiple characters provide different examples of manhood for Bob to observe, from the soft-spoken Joe Starrett to abrasive Chris or Shane; ultimately, Bob learns that how a man deals with hardship, difficult times, or even other people will define what kind of a man he is. 

The quote "growing up is influenced by people and events under stress" relates to Bob's own struggles with discovering his identity and role in society in a small western town in Wyoming.  He learns how to be an honorable man through watching his father and Shane struggle to save his father's farm from Fletcher but also through his relationship with Shane and having to say goodbye to him in the end.  The difficulty of both of those events help define Bob's character--he learns as much from watching Shane's struggles as from his own personal ones; even though the circumstances are difficult, he emerges stronger from having known Shane and more honorable from having witnessed the conflict with Fletcher. "

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