Writing Techniques in Lonesome Dove

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The dialogue in Lonesome Dove is a unique Western patois, a mixture of ungrammaticisms and half-remembered bits of old learning and formal fiction; it sounds quaint, yet mannered and sturdy.

The speeches of characters help portray them; Call's is direct and sometimes abrupt, helping to show his unbending nature, while Gus's is loquacious and humorous, intimating the not-too-serious elements of Gus's nature. According to the narrative, Gus "just plain loved to argue" and "would seize any chance for a dispute."

The setting, though, makes the novel come alive almost as much as the characters; McMurtry unforgetably portrays the environment that takes such a cruel toll on the men on the cattle drive, as well as others in the novel. The brutality of nature is shown by the horrifying death of one of the crew in a riverside snake's nest, as well as the bitter cold of the northern...

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This section contains 291 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lonesome Dove Study Guide
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