“Montana 1948” Book Review And Analysis Free Sample

The book ‘Montana 1948’ reflects themes of; the importance of family, loyalty, guilt, law, and order, and justice. The book is told from a third-person perspective of David Hayden, who recaps the events of his childhood Bentock, Montana in the summer of 1948. The issue of identity and decision-making are a central focus of this book as the narrator tells of how each character, is confronted with the tough decision of making choices on matters like family, racial difference, and environment. The interest of this research is to determine the lack of determination in Wesley, in making a choice between justice and family, and which caused him to fail in making the right decision in regards to the punishment of Frank his brother.

The toughness of deciding either arresting or setting his brother Frank free arose from Wesley’s deep family convictions and strong identity. This scenario is presented in Montana’s environment that was highly racist, as the inhabitants of Bantock disliked Native Americans. These differences in appearance and customs made whites dislike natives to the extent that the dislike was passed down to generations. As a result of the racist environment, Wesley deliberately became slow in arresting his brother who had been suspected of rape. The confusion in Wesley is explained by his son David the narrator who said, ‘my father did not like Indians … he simply held them in low regard (Watson 34). The racist factor is prevalent in this book for the narrator confesses that they ‘learned of racism at the age of seven or eight’ (Watson 34). This factor strongly drove Wesley’s commitment to his family since he upheld his brother on a higher level than that he gave to the raped native girl.

Wesley’s inability to decide on whether to uphold justice or respect family ties is from his environmental experiences. The lack of determination to uphold justice comes from the deep family association he received from his father. Wesley like his son David had learned to turn the other way when crimes against Native Americans were committed by whites like it was done during the reign of his father. We find that the acceptance of truth and justice and the presentation of morality made it difficult for Wesley to make a choice.

The difficulty in making this choice is seen as Wesley fights with thoughts on decisions about his family and carrying out justice for the Native Americans. The fight is thought is seen when he shouts to David’s wife ‘Don’t blame Montana’ (Watson 175). The struggle Wesley was going through was because he did not think that his environment or Montana was the cause for his difficulty in getting justice and protecting the family. Wesley believed he was led by the strong family bonds often seen between blood brothers. Wesley’s difficulty in making a decision was because he was raised to have pride in his family and his family name, Hayden.

The pride in family and the strong family name present the other factor that prevented Wesley from making a fast decision. David narrates that as he grew up he was aware that the name, Hayden was well respected in Montana, Bentock (Watson 126). Therefore, as Wesley was taught by his father, their family name Hayden was much respected and had to be respected by family members. In addition, the family name also made the Hayden men very powerful, admired, and respected in the Bentock community. Therefore, this factor made Wesley find it hard to decide on carrying out justice as he learned of his brother’s actions of sexually abusing his female patients. Family ties often make it very difficult for a person to go against their own and for this reason; Wesley was slow in locking up Frank or placing charges against him. As the sheriff of this community, Wesley was obligated to protect its citizens including Native Americans. This duty also involved the enforcement of the law as was stipulated by the county of Montana. However, the carrying out of these duties was prevented by Wesley’s strong family relations and respect for the Hayden family. This is also presented by David who clearly describes the strong family commitment he was raised in by his father Wesley. David was taught and brought up in a strong Hayden family heritage by Wesley, who was also under the influence of family commitment.

The environment in which David found himself was where, if Wesley arrested Frank, it was seen as a betrayal to the Hayden family. We find that the strong ties between the brothers are in blood as Wesley comments; ‘Don’t’ you think I wish it was some other way? … He is my brother; we grew up together, sucked together with the same breasts’ (Watson 150). These are the thoughts that were slowing down Wesley’s ability to decide on whether to arrest Frank and follow justice or abide by family commitment.

Wesley eventually locks up his brother in their family basement and is still struggling with the thought of freeing him. The mix of his identity as the sheriff of this highly racial community and that of a strong respected family led him to slowly make his tough decision. The fact that Wesley was aware that his brother was guilty of his crime of sexually abusing women as his wife Gail told him, made Wesley lock him up in the basement. This shows the struggle in Wesley because he could not lock Frank in jail as criminals are supposed to, but rather since he was family, he was locked up in their family basement. The bond between the family and his brother and the respect for Hayden’s name made Wesley lock his brother in the basement. Though he had locked him up, Wesley was still fighting with this decision since he still could not hate his brother. The bond of growing up together made the relationship between Wesley and Frank strong and this made it difficult for Wesley to take his brother to jail.

Despite his mother’s awareness that there was a struggle in Wesley, she asked him to set his brother free, which he does but still regrets. Wesley’s regret of setting his brother free from the basement is based on Frank’s own refusal to fully repent. Though Frank had confessed his crimes, he did not have a hint of regret in his voice. This factor made Wesley have more regrets for setting his brother free, as he said, ‘I Can not set him loose, I cannot live with myself’ (Watson 150). This presents the thesis for this research, as Wesley is bound by environment and nurture. He is struggling with the strong environmental factors of justice for the whites by ignoring those of the Native Americans and following strong family ties.

In conclusion, this has proven there was a difference in the two brothers, for though they were raised in the same environment and under the same rules, they turned out differently. Wesley respected the family name and his duty as sheriff and therefore carried himself respectfully. However, Frank misused their family name and took advantage of the respect his patients had for him. In the end, mixed feelings in Wesley caused by strong family bonds and his duty as sheriff created difficulties in deciding to arrest Frank. However, in the end, Wesley respected the community of Bentock and his position as sheriff and he arrested Frank, but his family bond caused him to lock him up in the basement. The choices he made therefore defined him.

Work Cited

Watson, Larry. Montana 1948: A Novel. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1993.

Formation Of The Alcoholics Anonymous Association

Alcoholic Anonymous is an association of different people recuperating from alcoholism who come together to contribute their experiences about alcoholism and its effects. The organization aims to encourage more people to stop taking alcohol and help alcoholic addicts to overcome their situation. Alcoholic Anonymous is an international organization formed in 1935 in Akron with its branches all over the world. Two partners, William Griffith Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, teamed up together and formed Alcoholic Anonymous. The association aims at helping other alcoholic addicts achieve sobriety. This paper will extensively discuss the formation of Alcoholic Anonymous.

Alcoholic Anonymous does not endorse or oppose any cause (Dick, 2011). The association assists individuals who have trouble with taking alcohol and worry about their drinking habits. The association also support alcoholic addicts together with individuals who get into unpleasant or dangerous situations and assist them improve. Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith together with his co-founder William Griffith Wilson began assisting other addicts to recover from alcoholism. The association is of support to many people by assisting them recover from alcoholism (Brown & Brown, 2013).The founders stated that there is no membership fee required to join the organization (Dick, 2011). In addition, the founders clarify that a requirement for membership is desire to stop drinking since the association is self-supporting through its contributions.

With the common aim of the founders, Alcoholic Anonymous is an association that incorporates alcoholic addicts. These characters come together to exchange ideas regarding their predicament. They also share their experiences and encourage each other to recuperate from alcoholism. In addition, members assist each other as they solve their problems (Abadinsky, 2013). The traditions of the group recommend that members and the group together with its activities should remain anonymous (Borden, 2014). The association also prevents its members from joining any affiliate organization or engage in its activities. Alcoholic Anonymous main objective is to help alcoholic individuals to achieve and maintain sobriety. The association receives acknowledgment for assisting addicts to change their way of living.

The association has two different kinds of meetings, speaker meetings and meetings for general discussions. During general meetings, members tell their stories and sources of stressors (Borden, 2014). Together with other members, William Griffith Wilson wrote a book that suggested a twelve-step program in which members admitted that the power of alcoholism was beyond their control. In addition, the book also indicated that alcoholic addicts necessitated moral intervention to recover from alcoholism (Abadinsky, 2013). Another aim of the book is to promote the fellowship of Alcoholic Anonymous together with the objectives. The organization elects their officials through a simple majority vote. Alcoholic Anonymous is a self-supporting association, relying on voluntary donations from members to cover expenses. The association hires external professionals for services that require special expertise (Brown & Brown, 2013). Through this custom, members attain additional assistance from the professionals.

In conclusion, the association advocates to assists its members to recover from alcoholism. The group hires professionals from different sectors to assist its registered members with overcoming alcoholism. Through its campaigns, the association has positively influenced living style of addicts. Group membership campaigns majorly against alcoholism as well as helping its members to recover from being alcoholic addicts. The group target to have more members since its membership is free. Most of the association members believe alcoholism needed moral intervention to enable addict recuperate from the syndrome. The association however does not consider alcoholism a disease except an illness.


Abadinsky, H. (2013). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction. Belmont: Cengage Learning.

Borden, A. (2014). The History of Gay People in Alcoholics Anonymous: From the Beginning. New York: Routledge.

Brown, S. & Brown, D. A Biography of Mrs Marty Mann: The First Lady of Alcoholics Anonymous. Minnesota: Hazelden Publishing.

Dick, B. (2011). The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous. Maui: First Edition Design Publishers.

Women As Vigilantes In “Thelma & Louise” Movie

Introduction to the Movie

Thelma and Louise’ is a fascinating story of two allies Louise and Thelma, who head for a vacation to escape their tribulations for a while. Thelma is a housewife married to a chauvinistic husband; Darryl. She does not have freedom considering her economic status. Louise works as a waitress. From the description, the two are stereotyped by the society. Thelma is a full time dependant to her husband while Louise’s profession is defined by her gender. From a social point of view, she falls under the profession meant for women in the society. Although they longed for the vacation, it becomes the cause of their untimely death. Their first stop is at the Roadhouse where they dance and get some refreshments. Harlan dances with Thelma and they head to the parking bay where he intends to rape her. However, Louise chips in and saves the situation with Thelma’s gun. When they leave, he hurls insults at them; thus, infuriating Louise, who kills him. The two escape for fear of prosecution for murder. The friends travel to Mexico where Louise loses all her life’s fortune to the fugitive, J.D, who had earlier confessed to be a criminal. The encounter marks the ladies’ entry into crime until their death through suicide.

The Woman as a Vigilante in the Movie: Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise presents the protagonists as social vigilantes. They make major decisions without conforming to the laws of the land. Similarly, their decisions go against the social expectations. The two friends believe that the society is to blame for their misfortunes. Both of them admit to having lived unfulfilled lives. Thelma is particularly dissatisfied with her partner, Darryl. The feel suffocated by the social structure of the American society and their journey is a search for freedom. They believe that the vacation will grant them a breathtaking experience which will give them a break from their boring lifestyles.

Thelma and Louise’ is a controversial movie that illuminates on the rise on feminist ideologies. The two women challenge the dominant patriarchal system in the American society through breaking away from the social expectations and engaging in erotic activities. They represent self-assertion when they engage in activities not meant for women such as handling guns. Essentially, the society does not expect a woman to own a gun. However, Thelma, the housewife owns one. Similarly, it is against the social expectations for a woman to go for a vacation without notifying her partner. However, the two friends leave for a holiday without notifying their spouses.

The film warns over the severity of female violence. The two friends become violent later in the movie. Thelma becomes a violent robber when she breaks into the store and steals. Similarly, Louise kills Harlan and engages in a chain of socially unacceptable activities in the movie. It is important to note that their activities amount to serious crimes that attract a judicial prosecution. The filmmaker criticizes the ladies ‘involvement in violence and how they handle crime. For instance, Louise responds to an attempted rape case through threatening to shoot the perpetrator. Additionally, she responds to Harlan’s insults by murder. Throughout the movie, the two women engage in a series of crimes. They become used to guns and commit violent robberies. Additionally, they explode the truck; thus, suffocating the driver.

The averted rape case explains women’s freedom from sexual exploitation in the patriarchal society. Although the movie emphasizes too much on feminine crime, it serves as enlightenment to the society on women’s progress in self-defense. The two women break away from their partners. Louise rejects her boyfriend while Thelma enjoys her freedom through engaging into extra-marital sex encounter with J.D at the motel. Louise’s behavior in sexual relationship may be attributed to her experience in Texas.

The movie represents women as being marginalized. Similarly, it explores their journey to freedom. Thelma, who is married off to a very authoritative husband decides that enough is enough. She leaves for vacation with her friend Thelma to take a break from her husband’s authority. Although the movie depicts them as being violent, it aims at exploring the path of liberation for the female folks who have had to cope with male chauvinism for decades. Therefore, it symbolizes the new female dominion over patriarchy. Their actions depict the underlying emotional baggage. For instance, Louise hated Texas so much that she could not pass through it while travelling to Mexico.

The film is feministic because it highlights much on the activities of the two friends; Thelma and Louise. The protagonists abandon their dull lives and embrace an adventure that symbolizes their freedom as women. However, it is unfortunate that their momentum to freedom involves use of violence and crime. They commit murder and violent robberies. From a cultural perspective, the protagonists violate the cultural expectation when they engage in the use of guns, robbery and suicide. The film opens up with Louise and Thelma being maidens who live unfulfilled lives. The movie gives them stereotyped functions in the beginning. Thelma is particularly unhappy with her marriage. However, being a housewife, she has to cope with her husband’s authority.

The movie portrays Thelma and Louise as true friends who portray the gender stereotypes in the American society. Through them, the movie reflects the severity of gender stereotypes prevalent in the American society. It is unfortunate that the two protagonists meet their untimely death through suicide. Although the movie is a comprehensive analysis of the rise against gender stereotypes, it is sad that the protagonists gain freedom through violence. Similarly, the movie does not exalt the role of women in the society. It does not empower them to become agents of change in the community. On the contrary, it portrays the two protagonists as rebels.


The movie draws a sharp contrast between men and women. It portrays them as being distinct entities. However, men stand in the way of freedom for women. The protagonists’ freedom is curtailed by characters such as Darryl, Harlan, truck driver and J.D. Therefore, the movie examines social conflict between the two genders. The protagonists’ journey turns out to be a search for freedom they had never known in the patriarchal American society. The two friends hoped to get relief from their duties, problems and gender stereotypes. Their rejection of responsibility for their activities makes them commit suicide to evade the long arm of the law. Throughout the movie, the two friends committed a chain of crimes. The movie has received positive criticism from viewers. However, some feel that it should have lifted women through making them pioneers of social change but from an affirmative point of view.

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