Shane is what we call a "stock character." A stock character is a character that is immediately recognizable to a reader, like the "mad scientist" or "lovesick young man," for example. Shane is the quintessential loner, a mysterious gunfighter who is trying to make things right and "live down his violent past" (eNotes). He joines forces with Joe, the narrator's father, to battle the land-hungry "land baron" (eNotes). Shane represents all that is honorable in American society because he wants to right wrongs and is willing to give his life to fight for what is right. The narrator looks up to both Shane and his father, because both men "share common qualities of fortitude, courage, and a determination to stand up for what is right" (eNotes).