The Wild West Rides Into The Sunset Essay

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Connor Lucas
ENG 3080J
February 20, 2014
The Wild West Rides Into The Sunset
Have you ever read a text that included items such as a bold cowboy, trusty horse, beautiful female, or a dark villain in a dry, isolated, and undeveloped setting? If so, it’s a great possibility that you were reading a classic Western. Many readers of this genre would describe its stereotypes as what I listed above. You can almost always find that protagonist cowboy hero, who tends to be a good-looking and sharp character that fights the dirty, rugged, evil villain in an epic climax while trying to save his gorgeous and innocent lady. The setting is often a flat, unpopulated, and undeveloped town, surrounded by mountains. The Western genre played a
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However, Kolb describes Marshal Jack Potter as “a nervous unarmed honeymooner, who rides a train instead of a horse” (98). In the story, Potter is described as wearing a new black suit that most likely was purchased in San Antonio (23). This gives the reader the idea that the East influenced the West a great deal, considering a hard-nosed, sharp-shooting town hero most likely should not be wearing a new suit that was made in the East. The stereotypical western criminal is mean, dirty, selfish, and constantly stirring up trouble. In “The Bride,” your criminal is Scratchy Wilson. However, as Kolb describes, the difference between Scratchy and most other Western villains is that Scratchy’s “main crime seems to be that he can't hold his liquor” (98). The eastern culture is brought up again in the story through Scratchy’s clothes. You’d expect to visualize a rough and dirty character whose soul is as dark as his clothes. With Scratchy, you get a criminal wearing a “maroon-colored flannel shirt” that was made in New York (24). Crane uses these characters to portray an idea to his reader’s that the influence the East has on the West is far greater than the average person would expect.
Expectations for a women in a Western story are generally perceived to be a beautiful, innocent,
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