Montana 1948 Essay Example
Montana 1948 Essay Example

Montana 1948 Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 4 (936 words)
  • Published: December 15, 2017
  • Type: Essay
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Frank Hayden's ultimate actions are driven by his self-centeredness rather than shame or guilt. His primary concern is avoiding scandal for the Hayden family, who hold influential positions in the community. However, his selfishness and animalistic behavior prevent him from confronting the truth.

In the latter part of the novel, Gail Hayden experiences a change in perspective. She no longer supports her husband's actions and realizes that safeguarding her family and creating a secure home should be her priority. Feeling trapped within their house-turned-prison where strangers aid Frank's escape, she struggles with whether to keep their son David close or far away from this perilous situation. Ultimately, she decides that endangering her family's safety is not worth Frank's problem.

Wesley Hayden's admonishment to "not blame Montana" implies that the state itself i


s not accountable for unfolding events; it is instead individuals within Montana who fail to take responsibility for their behaviors.

The setting of Benediction, an isolated town in Montana nestled in the countryside, plays a significant role in the novel. Being detached from the rest of town without external supervision allows the Haydens to exert control over the community and view their mistreatment of Native Americans as normal.

The main focal point of the narrative revolves around David and his contemplations on his own life and familial dynamics.

Throughout the novel, David's character is shaped by the events that unfold. The story is narrated from his perspective, allowing readers to see how he learns the importance of trust and honesty within a household.

One character who serves as a moral compass in the story is Wesley Hayden. As both the sheriff and someone who believe

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

in doing what is right, he takes responsibility for Frank's actions. This showcases his integrity and strong morals.

The novel also depicts prejudice against women. They are limited in expressing their beliefs or challenging societal norms or even their husbands' choices. Women are often confined to traditional roles such as homemakers or mothers, overshadowed by men.

Wesley becomes increasingly concerned when David suggests that Len McCauley might have information about Frank. This makes him realize that family secrets cannot be kept hidden forever and more people may become aware of them. He starts questioning how much he can trust Len and where his loyalty lies.

Even if Wesley had chosen to address Frank's issue publicly, it would unlikely have changed the outcome of the story because the Hoydens hold power and authority. Those who do not follow the law would hesitate to express their beliefs or worsen the situation. The community could have simply continued with their lives without much thought.

Furthermore, they may have believed that Frank's actions were insignificant as they were encouraged to view Indians as inferior and different from Whites. In Bentwood, mistreating Indians was not against the lawOn the other hand, if we consider Marie Little Soldier's murder committed by Frank, the community could have reacted and it would have brought shame to the Hoyden family. Personally, I would have taken similar action but gone further by publicly arresting that family member. This is because I believe I am morally stronger than West's character. I understand the law and its expectations, and regardless of whether they are a relative or not, I would not tolerate such behavior. I would do whatever is necessary to

ensure they face consequences for their crimes.

In my view, Uncle Frank did not receive justice for his crimes as he managed to avoid facing any consequences. He got off lightly due to his brother being the sheriff and his only punishment was being confined in a basement. There was no public arrest and he somewhat escaped punishment by choosing suicide and leaving his family to deal with the aftermath of his actions. Frank purposely chose to end his own life in order to evade facing reality.

The majority of the novel takes place in 1948, which is significant as it marked the end of World War II. However, in Montana, the citizens still lived a lifestyle reminiscent of the Wild West era. The author intentionally selected this year to highlight the lack of authority and law enforcement compared to present-day society in the 21st century. Additionally, the characters in the novel are portrayed in a manner that resembles individuals from the Wild West era.The events that took place in 1948 in the novel are unlikely to occur today due to advancements in lifestyle, reduced racism, and increased authority. The novel also delves into themes of privilege and misuse of power. The Hoyden family holds complete control over Bentwood but exploits it by treating Native Americans as inferior. Frank Hayden, who has the privilege of being a doctor, abuses his position by sexually assaulting Native American patients. Julian Hayden, the original sheriff, wields immense power over both the white population and Bentwood itself. His words go unquestioned, allowing him to ignore Frank's mistreatment of Native women and even break into West's house to free Frank without fear

of consequence. David recounts a story from many years ago; however, its full truthfulness remains uncertain as he states at the end that some truths should not be disclosed. This uncertainty surrounding the accuracy of events depicted in the novel arises from ambiguity and doubt about the truthfulness of David's account. Additionally, since David witnessed these events at a young age, it is unclear if his observations accurately represent what actually happened. As a result, this uncertainty ultimately casts doubt on the validity of the events portrayed in the novel.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds