In modern society, the media and trending topics are widely used to determine what’s considered normal. But having only two things telling the community what to think or believe is wrong. Often the community’s social norms are manipulated by expectations and beliefs. If anyone tries to defy the norms, they will receive severe punishments. The short story Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx shows us two characters, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who both become rejected by society. Because Ennis and Jack share an intense homosexual love affair, they are abnormal cowboys that struggle against social norms. Normal cowboys can be distinguished based on personality and work ethics. They are described as filthy, repulsive workers that dedicates …show more content…
However, since this is utterly impossible, cowboys are still classified as unsanitary, cow herding humans. The article, “The Good, the Bad, and the Nasty” by Marlene Petersen, suggests that there are two types of cowboys, the good ones and the bad ones. The good cowboys are usually considered acceptable in the Western genre. Petersen says that good cowboys seem to follow laws and obeys social norms. These cowboys would be classified as the normal cowboys. On the other spectrum, the bad cowboys would be described as emotional, fragile humans that breaks rules and practices malicious behaviors. A short story called Brokeback Mountain written Annie Proulx, demonstrates the two characteristics. In the story, the two protagonists, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, first appear to be average cowboys, but soon become abnormal cowboys that are extremely affectionate for each other. Over time, the two characters made it very convincing to the reader that they are both queer without a doubt. Marlene Peterson states that, “Before this film, no Western had dared to question the cowboy’s sexuality this explicitly: that the true and admirable cowboy ready to cope with the harsh conditions….could be be anything but heterosexual” (Peterson 9). This reveals that no one in the western community has the audacity to question the cowboy nature. Only those who have enough courage, stood up front and fought against social norms. Annie Proulx
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“Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They do not don’t belong no place” (Steinbeck 13). The society in Of Mice and Men is on a smaller and simpler level but has the same principles: Work hard which shows (functionality), stay in line which shows (strict conformity), and keep your head down which shows the (intolerance for the unique). That is all society expects from the population. There are no laws or “Amendments” to enforce these expectations. Instead society controls the population through peer pressure and desire to conform. If someone were to stand out as an individual they would be punished in the form of examination, judgement, and exposement to others who will also examine and judge the individual. This is seen as a terrifying process to the individual and therefore avoided by conforming. “ I don’t know why. Maybe ever'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other” (35). Individuals fear others will see something about them themselves that makes them different. And to be different means to stand out, which results in society taking notice. When society takes notice of that individual it will begin the process of: examination, judgement, and exposement. The reason the ranchers fear each other can be a simple primal fear of physical pain. But on a larger deeper level it is a fear of judgment and being found lacking, or simply different. The society found in Harrison Bergeron is similar to that of Of Mice and Men in the representation of society being focused around strict conformity, intolerance for the unique, and functionality. The society of Harrison Bergeron is different from Of Mice and Men because of the militant portrayal of society. Whereas Of Mice and Men shows society in a more traditional
In Harry Benshoff’s article, “Brokering Brokeback Mountain”, he touches on how in the movie Brokeback Mountain, there are many queer references that are made and thus created quite a bit of controversy in Hollywood and also to the moviegoers in the audience. In Benshoff’s article, he attempts to help the reader understand the phenomenon surrounding homosexuality. To complete his study on how the audience in North Texas was receptive of this film, he utilizes his own personal experiences and surveys from the people of North Texas. Benshoff analyzes the opinions of homophobia from the viewers by reviewing their responses to the film and how they generally feel about the reality of the film. Despite the mixed reviews that this film received, it allowed the film industry to “[open] up an important public space for discourse on the place and meaning of queer men in the United States” (2-3).
Throughout the novel McCarthy discusses how John Grady Cole’s beloved cowboy culture is slowly dying. John Grady Cole's father says “People don’t feel safe no more, he said. We’re like the Comanches two hundred years ago. We don’t know what’s going to show up here come daylight. We don’t even know what color they’ll be” to tell John Grady Cole about his grandfather's cowboy way of life (pg 60). His Father continues to talk about their beloved cowboy way of life, that is dying because of the industrialization that is making its way to west. With industrialization slowly heading towards the west, the cowboy way of life started to become uncertain just like how the Comanches life was uncertain 2 hundred years previous. The parallelism here shows the reader how the ending of the cowboy culture made John Grady Cole leave Texas and got him in trouble in
As a society, we feed off of each other for what a proper response to something may be. As children, we first look to see our mother’s reaction after falling down; if she is calm, I should also be. We look to each other for what a definition of things should be, as well. In the 1950’s, it was generally obscene for a woman on television to show her belly button, whereas today we will show nude breasts on primetime programming. This follows the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism, where society and individual social interaction provides a subjective meaning to deviant behavior. Many social definitions change for the better, however some change for the worse. One such example was once viewed as normal, with no second thoughts given to it, but now is seen as an actual social problem affecting some groups aversely. This is the topic of homosexuality, a subject that has been on the receiving end of both accepting and discriminating cultures for thousands of years.
With her West Virginia upbringing and living in a coal town, she was inspired to write about “rednecks” in a more positive way. The main way of her doing so was to bring to light the characters of the novel and their loyalty to family, the land and values. The characters are very relatable, the characters manage to wiggle their way into the reader’s heart. It is easy for the reader to become attached characters and to the issues arising in the book. It is in fact a part of our history, native to Appalachia or
Rodeos have been around since the day of the cowboy, they are often times credited for having Americas true cowboys. They include great display of athleticism between a cowboy or cowgirl, and the animals. Many rodeo events today, such as calf roping, are traditional farm and ranch practices. Some rodeo viewers don’t approve of what they see. Some people believe rodeos are too rough on the animals and that the animals are mistreated behind closed doors. Dr. James Furman (Beef Magazine), a professional rodeo animal practitioner, says that rodeos have strict animal policies. Cowboys will be disqualified, and often times fined for the mistreatment of animals. (Beef Magazine). Dr. Furman admits, "The rodeos do look tough on the animals, but ranchers take extensive procedures to make sure their cattle are in good health. If the rodeos truly did help the animals, would ranchers put their cattle in them." Furman also likes to add "Livestock
In the article “Is Texas America?” by Molly Ivins, she explains certain stereotypes of Texans that she has come across for example that “all the cowboys are brown”, and that “Cowboys mostly stink”. She goes on
Sexual transgression and sexual exploration is one of the most highly talked about topics in today’s society. The path to sexual liberation within society begins with experimentation and exploration, followed by personal acceptance, and finally, although not always, societal acceptance. Although we have come a long way on the path of acceptance of different sexual transgressions, the stories of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carre,” and Lyle Saxon’s “The Centaur Plays Croquet” show that this type of acceptance has not always been the case. Each story plays an integral role when looking at the steps on the path to societal acceptance. Chopin 's story dives deep into the area of experimentation and exploration, whereas Saxon 's story looks more at the areas of personal acceptance, and Williams ' story lies more along the area of societal acceptance, and whether or not acceptance is always the end result.
Another example of a corrupt black cowboy was Cranford Goldsby. Known as Cherokee Bill, he was the black counterpart to Billy the Kid. He was born Cranford Goldsby into a law abiding family; his father was a Buffalo soldier in the West (Katz 155). One of the most famous cowgirls was Belle Starr, she was called the 'Bandit Queen'–a lovely lady who ruled outlaw gangs with her guns, her will and her personal favors. She has been credited with stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, cleaning out crooked poker games with her six-shooters, and galloping down city streets with pistols blazing (Arnott). These evidences tell us that there were really some famous black cowboys and cowgirls in the real West but they weren’t romanticized in western arts as much as the white cowboys. Comparing to the book Shane, homesteaders and ranchers were taking the lands of Native Americans, so there definitely was a conflict between these people. However, Schaefer never mentioned about Native, African, or Asian Americans in the book. It can be seen as a case of discrimination.
The Western genre tended to portray Native Americans stereotypically; males were often shown as barbaric and the antagonist to the masculine Western cowboy. This links back to the savage stereotype, and how Westerners are often shown in a positive and heroic light whereas other ethnicities are demoralized and shown as negative characters. There are a select few stereotypical representations of Native Americans which are highly common in film, for example Native Americans typically speak “with a broken dialect of ‘baby’ English. They are not able to fully understand or express thoughts in the English language” (“The role of Native Americans in film, n.d.). This representation has changed in recent years with the
The movie True Grit is set in a chaotic time period of the American Frontier known as the “Old West,” or the “Wild West.” The American Frontier describes the “edge of a settled area.” Throughout the 18th and 19th century, the frontier continued to expand westward. In the mid-1800s, the frontier had been pushed into Nebraska and Kansas. Gold mines were attractive sources of wealth for many to move West. Eventually, railroads were built that connected the Western states and the East.(“American”). Throughout the West, many towns began to flourish in population due to the attraction of mines. Gambling also became a prominent source of entertainment. Although the West holds many opportunities, it also holds its fair share of difficulties. The climate was dry, the land was difficult to farm. Money was often short. As people struggled for their opportunities, chaotic violence became a telling point of the Old West (“The Western”). The task of controlling the violence of the West often fell into the hands of U.S. Marshals. They became renowned in the latter half of the 19th century for their heroics acts of punishing the lawlessness of the frontier towns (“U.S.”).
Brokeback Mountain, being the more homosexual romance-oriented Western that it is, subverts a large number of the typical traditional elements of the Western film genre as a whole, this one especially, by having another male be in the position of the love interest of the hero. Although this subversion in particular is very problematic for Jack, as it puts him in the shoes of being associated with all things relating to femininity in the relationship. For example, Jack is the one who makes the first move when seducing Ennis, using his own allure and sexuality into tempting Ennis when he calls him into the tent, leading Ennis down somewhat of a risky path. Ennis, however, is portrayed as somewhat of a saint, his being repressed and restrained by social standards, saying to Jack, “You may be a sinner but I ain't yet had the opportunity”. Another interesting typical thing in the Western genre that was altered was that instead of Indians being the villain, the enemy is that of a ignorant and oppressive society–a society that would kill Ennis and Jack for being “different”, Ennis says to Jack, “this thing takes hold of us at the wrong place, wrong time and we're dead,” which shows how much they both worry about it–but the two cowboys still have to find some way to pull through and struggle to find their true selves in this society, but it is also that fear which causes the devastating events
The dominant group—men, white people, upper and middle class people, and heterosexuals—are considered the “norm” and all assumptions are created off of this “norm.” The media today creates the “norm” by showing boys and men as being tough and manly, and girls and women as passive, yet also sexy and sophisticated. Also, in school we are taught that girls should not take woodworking class, and instead should take cooking or health classes. By learning these rules and roles of our gender at school and in society, we are reinforced by what we have learned at home. The article about the cycle of socialization justifies that the media, our cultural practices, and the assumptions on which our society is built “all contribute to the reinforcement of the biased messages and stereotypes we receive.” The messages from the media, culture, and our own homes have embedded in our minds what is accepted in society and how to act. In the cycle of socialization, the institutional and cultural level of socialization is enforced constantly; therefore, the people who go against societies “norms” are immediately oppressed. The results of the cycle of socialization are disturbing, for the majority of society plays their roles and simply does nothing to change the “norm.”
The raison d’etre of the Western is arguably to celebrate masculinity, but Brokeback Mountain is a revisionary Western that challenges definitions of masculinity. Discuss this statement with reference to Jane Marie Gaines’s and Charlotte Cornelia Herzog’s comments on the homoeroticism of the Western.
It appears that Proulx researched the homosexuality of ranchers and tried downplaying the myth of the American cowboy. The American Cowboy has always been portrayed as the rugged, tough, manly, and course individual. The homophobic practices among the male cowboys and ranchers were kept hidden for many years. Men found companionship