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A Western Hero in Shane Essay

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A Western Hero in Shane

The western genre plays an important part in the mythologising of American history. The way the western genre and particularly the western hero are put across in such films as Shane, are most likely not how real life in the 1880s was. In Shane the hero arrived on horseback, he was confident, handsome and managed to charm the female character, Marion, almost immediately.

Typically, throughout the film the mysterious gunslinger was wearing a cowboy hat and a holster around his waist. His clean-cut, masculine looks give an initial impression that Shane was to be the protagonist of the story. In reality, 1880s men were likely to be sexist or cruel, however this is not
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The next shot is from long distance showing him riding across the plain. The distance of which the shot is taken suggests his isolation and also gives the impression that he has been travelling for a long time, and equally, has a long way yet to go.

Also a distant shot, we see the figure riding along side the lake facing the family's house. In the foreground is a Deer whose antlers frame the figure perfectly. The shot looks almost picturesque as Joey watches Shane through the Deer's antlers.

Shane arrives at the family's log cabin, still on horseback; he talks with the family. The shot is a close up of Shane, however the difference in levels appears to give Shane authority over them, which is how he is perceived throughout the film. He smiles at Joey and compliments him on his attentiveness, "You were watching me down the trail quite a spell, weren't ya?...Y'know…I like a man who watches things going on around, means he'll make his mark someday." This is the moment we first recognise that Shane has an able way with children and from here he builds a good friendship with Joey.

Similar to the last, the next is a low angle shot looking up at Shane, giving him the higher status in this scene. This time attention is drawn to the clouds behind, which makes him appear almost
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