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Feedback on my Montana 1948 Essay

Hello Studyit.

I would like some feedback on a practise essay about Montana 1948 written by Larry Watson.

**Question: **

**Describe at least one major conflict in the written text. **
Explain how this conflict helped you to understand human behaviours.

In the novella Montana 1948 authored by Larry Watson the key major conflict in the text is family vs justice which is shown through Wesley Hayden and Julian Hayden. The two are split in decision about what should happen to Frank Hayden, Wesley’s brother and Julian’s Son after he is accused of molesting sioux indian women. This conflict helps us understand human behaviour and how it can effect decision making and conflicting thoughts about whether to choose what your father believes is right or what you believe is right.

Wesley Hayden is the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff and he lives in Bentrock, Montana. We are introduced to the main conflict after his brother, Frank Hayden, is accused of molesting sioux indian women including Wesley’s house maid, Marie Little Soldier. At first Wesley Hayden ignores the accusations and thinks they are ridiculous and not wanting anyone else to find out about the report. Wesley says “I don’t want any of this getting to my father” which shows us that Wesley wants his father, Julian Hayden, to not find out about these accusations and Wesley just wants them to be ignored. Wesley also says “Did you tell me because I’m the sheriff?[…] I wish you didn’t tell the sheriff” further showing that he didn’t want anything to do with it and he wanted to ignore the accusations entirely. This is the beginning of the conflict between Wesley Hayden and his father Julian Hayden.

One day after returning home Wesley Hayden discovers that his house maid, Marie Little Soldier, had passed away from what Frank Hayden said was pneumonia, Frank was the town doctor and had been visiting Marie Little Soldier for a checkup since she had a bit of a cough. This immediately triggers Wesley Hayden to do something about it, at first Wesley was reluctant to take action and wanted to stay out of it, after the death of his house maid, someone close to them, someone who looked after his son, he was not just going to brush it away. Something had to be done. Gail Hayden, Wesley’s Wife came upto Wesley that night and said “sins-crimes are not supposed to go unpunished” which Wesley took to heart and from this moment on his opinion on the accusations had changed, instead of wanting to get rid of them he wanted justice for it, there was no more hiding it anymore, there was no following in the footsteps of his father Julian, he was a changed man and he was going to investigate no matter what his father thought.

During Wesley’s investigations into his own brother, Frank Hayden, for his accused crimes of murder and molestering women his own father, Julian Hayden finds out what he is upto. Julian says to him “You - Investigating?!” which Wesley’s son, David Hayden hears, David then explains that in those two words he realised how little respect his very own grandfather had for his father and anything he had ever done. This is the climax of the conflict, where Wesley is fighting with his very own father about what is right and what is wrong, Julian even accuses Wesley of being jealous of Franks achievements during the world war saying “Ever since he got home in uniform and you stayed here, you’ve been jealous.” After this moment the two fall out, never wanting to see each other again. Wesley still makes it his mission to find the truth about what happened which leads him to his brother, Frank Hayden. With enough evidence gathered Wesley makes the decision, after days of not knowing what to do he arrests his own brother, Frank Hayden, and locks him in his house’s basement to make sure no one sees the events unfolding.

The next morning the family is shocked, Wesley Hayden walked into the basement to bring Frank breakfast but instead finds Frank, dead on the floor, cold as concrete with glass in his hands, he had killed himself. Wesley had regret but also some sense of relief, Franks suicide an indication to him that Frank knew he had done something wrong and he didn’t want to live with the consequences of his actions. Julian Hayden, Frank and Wesley’s father is clearly disappointed but more so angry. He vows to never talk to Wesley again and indicates that he was a disappointment to the Hayden family name which further reinforced the conflict between them. David, Wesley’s son, says to himself “Doors were locked; minds were made up.” which further re-enforces the message that they were set in decision and wanted nothing to do with each other. Wesley even saying “I cannot continue living here.”, the Hayden family move away from Bentrock, never to go back again and certainly never to remember the events that occurred and the major conflict between Wesley and Julian.
In the novella the author cleverly hints signs of human instinct and behaviour right throughout the text, a main behaviour seen in the text is that often people will follow their parents beliefs, values and opinions because they brought you up so they must be right; but this can be challenged by your own developing thoughts and the ideas around doing what is right. Often we stand up for one another and choose to take justice for others, stand up for what we believe in and stand up for what is morally right, not just following your father, mother, siblings or friends but being your own self. This conflict shows how Wesley changes from following his father to having his own thoughts and being himself which leads to justice for Marie Little Soldier and the other sioux indian women Frank molested.

The main conflict in the novella Montana 1948 by Larry Watson is family vs justice and this is shown between the two characters Wesley and Julian Hayden. The conflict between following your family and parents or standing up for what you believe in and what you think is morally right is clearly shown throughout the text and helps us to understand human behaviour. The message the author is trying to portray to us in this text is no matter the situation that sometimes the right thing to do is follow your own thoughts and do what you think is right; standing up for what you believe in is a huge part of human behaviour and influences decisions we make everyday, this helps us to understand the conflict better and relate it to our lives.

Kiā ora and welcome to Studyit.
A great set up in the introduction. Both sides of the quetsion are addressed and you show some perception in the response.
There is a lot of re-telling of the story. How about you try and set up three things that will show that the conflict showed an aspect of human behaviour and establish the evidence and then point out how this shows the aspect of human behaviour and how it accomplishes the author’s purpose. These three things then can become the basis of the body paragraphs and will keep you away from long re-tellings and more focussed on answering the question.
Your knowledge of the text is sound, you set up the question well at the start and conclude well, but maybe a little more focus in the middle will yield the excellent results you want,
Hope that helps.
:grinning: