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A Male Dominated Society in the Old West Essay

  • Submitted by: totwvs
  • on September 26, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 599 words

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Below is an essay on "A Male Dominated Society in the Old West" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

What defines a western?   Perhaps it’s a lone gunslinger trying to escape a mysterious past?   Or maybe small isolated town surrounded by beautiful landscape with a corrupt official and a damsel in distress?   It could even be the climactic gun fight taking place at high noon and ending with a solemn ride off into the sunset.   However you envision a western in your mind, our minds are set to imagine that the western genre has an underlying theme which follows a certain pattern.   This flow is seldom interfered with and generally follows a basic cookie cutter story line.
Males play a dominated role with several characters in different stories that fit the same stereotype.   The western genre is heavily driven by a strong male protagonist that has a normally has a hidden agenda.   Female roles in western stories usually have a diminished role and are generally treated as side characters which do very little to actually advance the plot.   The protagonist moves the story forward and in turn, the story revolves around him.   Shane and William Munny, for example portrays the ideal stereotype for a western male lead.   Shane’s actions through the first few chapters draw the reader in, as he slowly starts to fits the archetype of a western hero. He drives the story and the actions he takes define him as the protagonist of the story. As the story progresses, we learn more about Shane’s mysterious past and that he’s more than capable of handling himself in a fight.  
William Munny on the other hand, follows a similar path to Shane in which he also has a past that he is trying to escape.   On the contrary, there’s also a strong antagonist which the protagonist eventually comes into conflict with. In Unforgiven, William Munny encounters his rival, the sheriff Little Bill Daggett in the town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming. Similar to the Munny in retrospect as he was a gunfighter as well, but Bill purveys a different type of emotions and the audience is less likely to acknowledge him as the...

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