The divide between loyalty and justice is one that has been frequently commented on through the years

The divide between loyalty and justice is one that has been frequently commented on through the years, with the topic centred upon through many texts and stories. In Larry Watson’s novel, Montana 1948, the issue of loyalty versus justice drives the plot, with the characters taking sides and being pitted against one another. Though justice is often seen as the cornerstone of a civilised society, Watson’s novel challenges the injustices of the American legal system and the ways in which those in power are easily corrupted, causing havoc to the lives of those around them. In Montana, loyalty to one’s family often outweighs their loyalty to the law, with the novel also discussing that even in death, justice isn’t given to those who deserve it. As well as this, we learn that loyalty over justice isn’t an inherent trait, it is one learned by the youth from the culture surrounding them.