Taming The Star Runner

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Taming the Star Runner By: S.E. Hinton I read Taming the Star Runner by S.E. Hinton. The main character is Travis One of his positive traits is that he is very confident of everything. Travis does not care what other people think about him. He can be seen as a blunt person but it's all in a matter of survival to him. A negative trait that he possesses is that his perspectives to things are very narrow. Travis has not seen the world in its whole perspective. He is very judgmental about a lot of the new things he encounters. The most significant change he undergoes is that he falls in love with a girl who leases his uncle's barn, Casey. It is a big change for him because he is a person who has never experienced love. His mom "chose" her boyfriend over him, his uncle, at one point chose his son over him, and his friends who he is very confused about.

When he experiences this "love" that he feels for this girl he visits everyday to the barn (this is different for him because he does not like hanging out with girls) and gets a job there from Casey herself.

Another important character is Casey. One of her positive traits is that she is a very hardworking person. She leases the barn and gives riding lessons to girls and practically takes care of the whole barn. Her relationship to the main character is she is Travis's love interest. She has a significant influence on the main character in that she, just by being there and riding, gives Travis a totally new perspective. He never met anyone so brave and to top that she tamed a horse called Star Runner, which was a wild horse. She rode him with much grace; although there were times when the horse was rough she showed that she really loved the horse. The setting of this story is in the rural area. It is important to the story because this is a setting where Travis has never lived before. It opens him up to a whole new perspective into things.

The values of the society portrayed in the book are relationships between people. Family, friends, love interests, and just acquaintances that he meets along the way. This book shows the different relationships that still occur today. Divorces, family break-ups, the new mother's boyfriend, and friends who will just hang out with you because you are seen as one of the coolest kids in school. The main character fits is alienated to the place because he is the "new kid" and since he is every different from the people who live there he is the outcast of the group. He isn't seen and noticed like he was where he lived before. The opening of the book is Travis coming out of Juvenile Hall. It is important to the story as a whole because you learn that although he has made some mistakes he isn't a messed up kid. The closing of the scene is when he sits down and thinks about typing up a new book. This is important because he comes back to the only thing that he has.

Two other important scenes are his troubles with his mom and her boyfriend and his watch over Casey riding Star Runner. The first is important in that it shows how he got into the trouble. It showed that he really loves two things that he has in his life. When Stan (the boyfriend) came into his life he hated it because his mom loved his more than Travis but when Stan started to burn the books and stories Travis had written he loses it. This shows that it wasn't really about the books but about how Stan keeps taking everything that Travis had. The second is important in that he learns to love another person, which is big because he doesn't really love anything anymore besides writing stories and books.

The narrator is outside the story. It is an ineffective choice because you don't really know what is going on inside Travis. It is just all a point of view from a person outside. The main message of this book is to stick to the things that you love most and don't let them go because in the end that is all you will have. I would describe the author as a optimistic person because she starts the story off with a kid who seems to be a juvenile delinquent but turns out to be someone who can love and write. The best thing about this book is that it really tuned into many things that kids go through and feel today. It isn't like a fantasy book where everyone wishes this happened to them but something everyone can relate to.