Analysis Of Isolation In The Searchers

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On the Threshold of Isolation The film The Searchers (1956) opens with the score’s theme, “What makes a man to wander?/What makes a man to roam?” The song’s lyrics sets the premise for a story of a man, Ethan Edwards, who battles questions of purpose and identity as he takes on a multi-year rescue mission. The film culminates with another verse from the song, “A man will search his heart and soul/Go searchin’ way out there/His peace of mind he knows he’ll find/But where, oh Lord, Lord where?/Ride away, ride away, ride away.” Ethan completes his rescue mission, but fails to locate “peace of mind.” His inability to securely locate a sense of belonging and his loss of loyalties create the character’s isolation The final scene, showing Ethan at the threshold of a home, exemplifies Ethan’s alienation. The Searcher’s final scene shows Ethan on the front porch of the Jorgensen’s frontier house. The viewer can only see blackness within the home. The light from the expanse of frontierland outside causes Ethan’s shadow to mix with the darkness of the home’s interior. At the house’s threshold, Ethan appears in contrapposto form, a term associated with Classical sculptures when a person’s weight is supported by only one leg. In contrapposto, the arm opposite to the supporting leg is tense or engaged while the other arm hangs freely. This position is meant to convey a natural, relaxed pose. But as a result of Ethan’s engaged arm holding the arm meant to be at ease, Ethan appears anxious

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