Role Of National Identity In My Darling Clementine

1016 Words5 Pages
The Construction of American National Identity in My Darling Clementine

John Ford’s 1946 Western film My Darling Clementine played a great part in the construction of American national identity through its symbolic representation of the USA and of foreigners. Released a year after World War Two, the film acknowledges the anxieties America had faced towards foreign powers and attempts to put these anxieties at ease by portraying America as a hero-figure.

The representation of characters within this film contribute to the construction of American national identity. The film engages in archetypical characterization, and the characterization of the Americans and the foreigners show how these nationalities were viewed at the time, with America being portrayed as the heroes and the foreigners being portrayed as the ‘bad guys’. We can observe this particularly in the scene where Wyatt Earp and his brothers enter the town of Tombstone for the first time, and encounter trouble at a bar where an Indian man, known as Indian Charlie, is threatening the townspeople. Wyatt steps up and saves the town from the drunk Indian, literally dragging him out of the bar and then literally kicking him out of town. The cinematography of this scene contributes to the characterization of Wyatt and Indian Charlie. When Wyatt and his brothers enter the town, the setting is in darkness, as are the townspeople. The only light we see in this scene emerges from the windows of the buildings, and this

More about Role Of National Identity In My Darling Clementine

Get Access