Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Respect and Reputation

By Larry McMurtry

Respect and Reputation

Even before "Don't Mess with Texas" was an official state motto, and way before the Texas Rangers were just a baseball team, people knew not to mess with a Texas Ranger. What was a Texas Ranger, you ask? A member of an elite group of crime fighters, battling cattle rustlers and bandits across the barren Texas plains, that's what. Gus and Call were Texas Rangers way before Chuck Norris ever was, and their reputations precede them throughout Texas—and beyond.

Questions About Respect and Reputation

  1. How did Gus and Call earn their reputations? Do they still deserve respect at the time the novel takes place?
  2. What does Newt do to earn respect over the course of the book? What does he do to eventually become the leader? Why do people respect Newt more than some of the more elder members of the cattle company?
  3. How is a man's reputation different from a woman's reputation in the book? Which women have a reputation, and how did they earn it?

Chew on This

Jake Spoon didn't earn his reputation rightfully; he has a reputation as a sharpshooter by pure luck. But he takes it anyway, and that says a lot about his character.

Reputation goes both ways. Gus and Call have a reputation for being law-abiding men, while Blue Duck has a reputation for being an evil, senseless killer.

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