Essay about The Western Formula

1317 Words 6 Pages
A seemingly traditional approach towards the Western frontier is the reason for John Cawelti's assessment from The Six-Gun Mystique. His description of the Western formula being 'far easier to define than that of the detective story'; may clearly be a paradigm for many authors, but not particularly for Stephen Crane. The standards Cawelti has set forth for a successful Western is quite minimal by thought, but at the same time relevant. Crane signifies a different perspective to these standards. Crane's thoughts for the use of the Western formula are just approaches towards the west, from the introductory setting to the coarse grin one cowboy would make towards another. These do not in fact relate to Cawelti's Western formula. Crane's …show more content…
Stephen Crane shapes 'The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,'; entirely around the bride and how she will enter a new life in the small town of Yellow Sky. The only instance of a possible Western formula is as a cowboy by the name of Scratchy Wilson points a gun at Jack Potter, the husband and town marshal. However, when Scratchy realizes that Potter had gotten married, he put down his gun and walked away. 'He moved a pace backward, and his arm, with the revolver, dropped to his side'; (Crane 311). This contradicts the black and white situation Cawelti would expect. The fight between good and evil had risen and it must be taken care of through violence, perhaps a draw. This did not happen though, and that is why Crane's perspective towards a Western is quite far from the formula. Apparently, the moral and ethical code that Crane acknowledges in his stories is his main concern. 'The story can climax, and desire be sated, only if the moral applause meter reads way of the scale in the hero's favor'; (Tompkins 236). Crane describes Scratchy Wilson as a man when sober cannot hurt a fly, but while intoxicated will hurt anything. The black and white issue turns gray by giving the villain a heart.
Throughout the entire story, the ideas of violence arise, but the actions upon them do not. This is a very bad path Crane chose if he was looking to depict a formula western. If this story was to follow the standards

More about Essay about The Western Formula

Open Document