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A.B. Guthrie born as
- •A.B. Guthrie was born as Alfred Bertram: born Jan. 13, 1901, Bedford, Ind.,
- U.S.—died April 26, 1991, Choteau, Mont.
What did the author call himself?
- •The author called himself "Bud" because he felt that Alfred Bertram was
- "a sissy name.”
Where did Guthrie live?
- •Guthrie lived in Montana but traveled to California and New York for an number of jobs, he worked
- for 20 years for the Lexington Leader newspaper in Kentucky
- •He was an award winning writer who wrote about the wild west, his book “The Way
- West” (1949) won a Pulitzer Prize
- •Guthrie also worked in the film business where he was a screen writer for the movie
- Shane (1953) which is a classic western film
- 1.Boone Caudill is the main character that lives in Kentucky with his family. He has an
- abusive father and one night fights back.
- This leads him to running away and setting out like his Uncle who was a
- Mountain man that he idolized.
2.Boone meets up with a the traveler, Jim Deakins, that decides he also wants something more from life and joins him.
- 3.The boys sign up on The Mandan, which is
- a French keelboat that is headed up the Missouri River to trade.
- 4.Their role model is Dick Summers who is
- the boat’s hunter and guide.
- 5.On the boat is an Indian Princess called
- Teal Eye. The captain of the boat hopes
- to return the princess to the Blackfoot Indian tribe in hopes of bettering
- relationships and increasing trade.
- 6.Ultimately, the three men are the only
- survivors of the boat and Teal Eye disappears.
- The book details the hardships of a life as a trapper. Dick Summers tires of this lifestyle and goes
- back home.
- 7.Boone is able to find Teal Eye and marry
- her. She eventually bears him a child,
- but the boy is blind. Ironically, the
- child also has red hair like his best friend Jim.
- 8.Boone suspects Teal Eye and Jim of adultery and kills his best friend. He is so
- distraught that he heads home back East.
- 9.Once home Boone learns that many of his
- extended family have red hair. This
- realization and the reality of be confined back home lead him to run away
- 10.Boone flees to his friend Dick Summers,
- where he confesses the murder of his friend and laments the loss of the true
- 11.This book ends with Boone Caudill leaving
- Summers house.
How the book parallels Guthrie's life
- 1.Guthrie grew up on the eastern front of
- the Rocky Mountains in the small town of Choteau, Mont., at a time when the
- ways of the Old West were changing to a modern way of life. Choteau is
- undeniably a pattern for communities that appear throughout Guthrie's books.
- For this very reason, Guthrie was not always popular in his hometown.
- 2. Guthrie’s depicted the lives of
- Americans settling the Far West along the upper Missouri and Columbia rivers.
- He treated his subject not in the manner of heroic myth but rather with respect
- for the real human, familial, and political trials of people trying to colonize
- the Western mountains and valleys.