He was given the nickname due to the work he did in supplying workers with buffalo meat after the American Civil War. William Frederick became famous for his Wild West Shows. In the show, participants from horse-culture…
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At one hand, it has been argued the Cody’s shows were “not right to evoke a sense of wonder and excitement when referring to a region that had seen carnage and bloodshed” (Tompkins “West of Everything” 33). In addition, it has been argued that the spectacles in the shows reduced the meaning of the landscape and the people for purposes of entertainment. This paper argues that it is not right to evoke a sense of wonder when describing a region that had encountered bloodshed because it reduces the meaning of the landscape and the people for purposes of entertainment.
Opposition to the Wild West Shows was due to the injuries and deaths it caused to many native performers in the 1890. Many of the deaths had occurred due to infectious illnesses and because many of the performers had no access to primary medical care. Momaday reports that regarding the dances by performers, “were surely an ignisfatuus, and the cause of frightful suffering and death” (628). The fact that these issues arose to only one group of the actors raises questions regarding the genuineness of claims by Cody that he intended only to show the West as it was. His negligence shows that he did not consider equality with the Caucasian Americans, African Americans, and the Native Americans as a possibility even after the Civil War. As a result, the show emphasized on the differences of these Americans groups. No wonder Bobby Bridgeralleges claims “Indian performers in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West were literally prisoners-of-war” (16). Moreover, the divisions he may have caused in the work environment were like a time bomb that would soon erupt especially considering that the shows were immediately after the Civil War. Therefore, this formed one of the bases by which it appears the Wild West Shows though entertaining, still reminded people of the divisions that had caused the war and
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As a result, he was in a central location to witness many of the events that occurred towards changing the nature of civilization in America. He took his experiences and translated them into a performance piece that was a show in which exhibitions of Sitting Bull and other members of the Western culture were used in perpetuating the myths.
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