Character Analysis Of Larry Watson's Montana 1948

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What would happen if a friend’s brother turned out to be a monster? In the novel Montana 1948, by Larry Watson, Wesley is the town sheriff, whose brother Frank is a well known doctor. When news reaches Wesley that Frank has been sexually assaulting Indian women on the nearby reservation and then kills Marie, his housekeeper, Wesley is conflicted on what he should do. His father, who heavily favors Frank, tells Wesley to just turn a blind eye to his crimes. However, Wesley defies his father and attempts to bring Frank to justice by locking Frank in his basement. Frank soon breaks into the root cellar and kills himself before he can be moved to the public jail. Wesley held a big role in the imprisonment of Frank and displayed heroic qualities…show more content…
For example, Wesley locks Frank up in the basement of his house to prevent him from harming any more women. Having Frank contained is truly a good deed because it would spare other people from his crimes. In addition, Wesley committed a good deed for Frank, so he ended up helping him as well. Frank “didn’t want to go to jail. Not here in town” (Watson 101). Along with protecting the citizens of Bentrock, Wesley also protects Frank’s reputation and dignity when he does not take him to the public jail, where everyone would know what he has done. Finally, Wesley helps people when he moves away from Bentrock, Montana and follows his dream of becoming a lawyer. In this single action, he helps David, his son, get away from his grandfather who is a bad influence. In addition, he helps his marriage because his wife has always wanted to move away. Wesley’s good deeds towards the townspeople, his family, and even the person who he is arresting make him a clear example of the definition of a classic…show more content…
Wesley first demonstrates this because he is a sheriff. He put aside his own dreams to be a lawyer and became the sheriff in the town both for his father and to protect others. His self-sacrificing of his dreams is a selfless act that people can appreciate and look up to him as someone whom they want to be able to be like. In addition, Wesley also put his family aside in order to do the right thing, no matter how much it hurt him to do so: “’My brother – your uncle – has run afoul of the law. I had to arrest him. You understand that, don’t you? That I had no choice?’ He looked close to tears” (Watson 102). Wesley was torn up about this decision to the point of tears, yet he did the right thing and even went out of his way to explain it to David. Wesley’s compassion, strong moral code, and sense of duty are something that anyone can look up to and aspire to be like. Finally, Wesley is a good father to David. Wesley is very protective of David and tries to shield him from the events that are going on in Bentrock: “If there’s any trouble and I’m not here, you run for Len. Understand? Get Len” (Watson 106). Wesley does not want David to get hurt and for Frank to be released from the basement. His protective nature of his son is something that people can respect and admire. Through his actions, Wesley is someone people aspire to be, like a classic

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