The original novel by Jack Schaefer, on which the more well-known film was based. The novel was written in 1949, and is Schaeffer's best-known work.The story is narrated by the adult Bob Starrett (who was renamed Joey for the movie), as he tells of his childhood during the summer of 1889. The story starts when the mysterious eponymous horseman emerges at the Starrett farm and asks to use their water pump to freshen up himself and his mount. Joe Starrett, the patriarch of the family, convinces the visitor, who gives his name as simply Shane, to have dinner with them and rest at their home for the night. That one night's stay-over eventually extends to several months, as Shane is hired to help Joe fix up the farm in preparation for the winter and gradually becomes embroiled in the ongoing feud between Joe and his fellow homesteaders and the local cattle baron Luke Fletcher (who was renamed Rufus Ryker for the movie).The Film of the Book, which was released in 1953, was somewhat faithful to the novel, aside from a few characters' names being changed (as the above paragraph indicates) and some other plot details being altered or not expanded on as much as in the book.
Joe doesn't take too well to discovering Morgan and his boys ganging up on Shane.
Bob:(narrating) I had never seen Father quite like this. He was past anger. He was filled with a fury that was shaking him almost beyond endurance.
A second Berserk Button is revealed for Joe after Stark Wilson is introduced, when the latter hints at planning to...do things to Marian. Joe, who's wielding a shotgun at the time, is ready to blast Wilson in the back, but Shane stops him in time due to Wilson being fast on the draw.
Ernie Wright's mother was not an Indian. Anyone who says otherwise will incur his wrath.
Stark Wilson doesn't take kindly to being called a liar. Shooting will ensue.
Chris pulls this on Shane, by teasing him that the homesteaders raise pigs (which, for them, is an insult). Shane himself is easily able to ignore the burn, but it's when the other homesteaders complain about it that he decides to respond to Chris.
Ernie Wright ("Stonewall" Torrey in the film) later does this to Stark Wilson by calling him a liar in response to his Berserk Button being triggered. Unfortunately for him, being called a liar is Wilson's own Berserk Button...and suffice it to say, it doesn't end well for Ernie.
But Now I Must Go: As in the Film of the Book, Shane pulls this following the final confrontation. However, his motive for doing so here differs from the reason given in the movie - here, he wants Bob to grow up with a structured family which only his parents can properly give him.
Curb-Stomp Battle: What Shane pulls on Chris during their second confrontation. According to one eyewitness report later, he beats Chris's face so badly that it looks like a horse stomped on it, then breaks his arm...and all of this happens in the space of thirty seconds, with Chris not even being able to land a single hit.
Determined Homesteader: Joe Starrett. Nothing, whether threats or hard work, will stop him from eking out a living on his land.
Doesn't Like Guns: Shane, to a degree, to the point that he actively chooses not to wear one for the majority of the novel. However, he's not above giving Bob a few pointers about gun usage, as well as informing him that a gun is just like any other tool and can be used for good or evil.
Shane: A gun is just as good - and as bad - as the man who wields it.
The Dragon: Stark Wilson (who was renamed Jack Wilson for the movie) serves as this to Fletcher in the last few chapters of the book. Before him, the cattle foreman Morgan served this role.
The Dreaded: Stark Wilson is this, as evidenced by the bartender Will's reaction when one of the homesteaders informs him that the man is in town.
The Drifter: Shane, of course. As he puts it: "My family came out of Mississippi and settled in Arkansas. Me, though - I was fiddle-footed and left home at 15."
Groin Attack: Shane pulls this on one of Morgan's mooks during his second bar-fight by kneeing the man in the crotch. The man is reduced to a wincing mess who's dragging himself toward the saloon doors.
Heroic BSOD: Joe has one after being told that Shane has left the valley following the final confrontation.
Honor Before Reason: Stark Wilson seems to have a moment of this when he accompanies Fletcher to the Starrett homestead for some subtle intimidation tactics. Moments after Shane stops Joe from trying to shoot Wilson for making subtle hints about his intentions for Marian, Shane approaches Wilson, whose gun-hand twitches...but then Wilson relaxes as soon as he sees that Shane isn't armed.
Lightning Bruiser: Joe, when sufficiently provoked. Shane's also quite fast and a heavy hitter.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Fletcher's first hired gun recognizes Shane and realizes that he is not on his side. He quits immediately. When Chris taunts him and calls him "yellow", he looks at Chris, looks at Shane again, and tells Chris, "Yeah, maybe I am." Shane never sees him and never realizes he was there.