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Author Topic: Christian Hero Stories As the Teaching of Christian Morality  (Read 3073 times)

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Re: Christian Hero Stories As the Teaching of Christian Morality
« on: November 02, 2018, 07:55:18 am »
If there is an argument about the validity of the American Cowboy Hero of the Western Novel in print and in Western movies, this is a debate between the point of view not only of the West versus the East, or Rural Areas verses Urban Centers, but to a greater extent it is an argument between the point of view of an older generation and the Baby Boomers and their descendants

Frederick Jackson Turner  gave a paper called "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," to a gathering of historians in 1893 in Chicago. He said that:

"Individuals, forced to rely on their own wits and strength,  were simply too scornful of rank to be amenable to the
exercise of centralized political power."

"If the frontier had been so essential to the development of American
culture and democracy, then what would befall them as the frontier
closed? It was on this forboding note that he closed his address: "And
now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a
hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone,
and with its going has closed the first period of American history."

The Western frontier mentality lingered on in the memories of many
Americans born in rural and small town America during the thirties and
early forties, especially west of the 98th meridian. It mostly died
out in the Baby Boomer generation.

The literary form of the Western formula story celebrates this frontier mentality In the story grammar the  cowboy hero who is regenerated by living in a physical wilderness and by the American frontier attitude overcomes transgressive behavior. And in the formula range war Western, this cowboy of the wilderness frontier defeats the villain who is a society insider and is respected as a banker, business man or big rancher.

Michael T. Marsden in Savior In the Saddle: The Sagebrush Testament (In Jack Nachbar, Focus On the Western, 1974) says to see the Western hero "...as a coming together of certain elements from the Old and New Testaments and to see through him the creation of a Sagebrush Testament with its own ethos...The savior-like nature of the Western hero is nowhere more clearly manifested than in Gorge Steven's masterful Shane (1953). Allan Ladd at the beginning of the film moves slowly down the Grand Teton Mountains from the West.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 08:01:25 am by bernardpyron »


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