Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Life, Consciousness, and Existence

By Larry McMurtry

Life, Consciousness, and Existence

In Lonesome Dove, the cowboys work hard, but they also have a lot of free time. What else are they going to do on those long lonely nights under the stars but look at the galaxy and ponder existence itself? If there's no one around the fire eating beans and playing poker, then not much else.

Questions About Life, Consciousness, and Existence

  1. Gus considers himself a philosopher of sorts. What does he teach people over the course of the book?
  2. When do the men feel most alive on their journey?
  3. Lorena might be the character who yearns for the most out of life—a life that has been pretty unfortunate so far. What does she want out of life? What does she end up achieving? Is she happy?

Chew on This

Without modern-day distractions, there isn't much else to do other than ponder the meaning of life, especially when you find yourself under a sky of endless stars.

In its calmer moments, Lonesome Dove might as well be Zen and the Art of the Cattle Drive. McMurtry shows how a person can feel at peace with life, even in stressful situations.

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