Film Review: 'Shane'

995 Words Jan 12th, 2018 4 Pages
In particular, the film uses the story of the mysterious gunfighter Shane to chart the gradual irrelevance of this kind of violence in the aftermath of the Civil War, and in some ways one can imagine that the film itself is attempting to recover from the violence of World War II. By examining some key moments from the film, one is able to see how Shane uses its sometimes graphic violence in an effort to simultaneously show the ostensible utility and ultimate futility of violence. In the end, Shane undermines classic western film tropes in order to turn the image of the heroic gunfighter into a frightening warning about the lingering effects of senseless violence.
Early in the film, the audience could be mistaken for imagining that the film itself celebrates or even condones violence, because Shane actually attempts to make the case that "a gun is a tool." He tells Marian that a gun is only as good or bad as the person using it, and anyone familiar with contemporary debates surrounding gun control should be familiar with this argument. Of course, the argument fails because it implicitly makes the faulty claim that guns are like any other tool, when in fact guns are designed and built for a single, violent purpose, while any other tool can have a non-violent purpose (even if…

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