Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

The American Frontier and the Western Hero - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
The literature of the ninetieth century represents different prototypes and characters typical for this historical period. In the works, The Virginian by Owen Wister and The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner the authors create strong male and female characters able to fight and survive in any circumstances…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.7% of users find it useful
The American Frontier and the Western Hero
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "The American Frontier and the Western Hero"

The American Frontier and the Western Hero The literature of the ninetieth century represents different prototypes and characters typical for this historical period. In the works, The Virginian by Owen Wister and The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner the authors create strong male and female characters able to fight and survive in any circumstances. Thesis Female and male characters from both works fight with harsh reality of life and go through sufferings in order to become free from social constraints and false values imposed by the society.
The main character in Owen Wister's novel is the Virginian, a cowboy who tries to establish the standards for the cowboy stereotype. He is a real hero who possesses the features of an ideal man, and personifies high moral values and physical strength. Wister depicts the Virginian as a person who is able to distinguish what is good and what is bad, and who follows his personal beliefs. He is described as: "The dealer had styled the Virginian "a black-headed guy." This did well enough as an unflattered portrait" (Wister, 34). The Virginian tries to make a better world paying a special attention to universal order and peace during the Johnson County War in Wyoming. The main character of Susan Warner's novel is "Christian Character", Ellen Montgomery. Female characters in the novel are depicted through minor themes such as the themes of motherhood and religion. Christianity and church was a strong force which dictated social norms and social order. At the beginning, Ellen is depicted as a devoted parishioner who follows all values and commandments.
he main similarity between the male and female characters is their desire to fight for freedom and justice which limits their behavior. The Virginian is a leader who possesses self-belief and tolerance, which helps him to create the reality; he is a high moral person who fights for justice, harmony and orderliness of the universe. For instance, the Virginian is against lynching which represents lack of government's actions and laws. Similar to this character, Ellen resists Christian values and rules imposed by her mother. For instance, Warner (1996) describes: "Ellen's task was no longer painful, but most delightful. She hoped she was doing some good". In some cases, her behavior is atypical for a woman of her historical epoch but she is depicted as a rebellious person, alien and masculine.
Both protagonists embody personal democracy which helps them to fight with social rules. Both of them are unselfish and courageous people. To some extent, both of them inherit the ideals of liberal persons based on personal freedom and social justice. Both of them are philosophers who do not subdued to common norms. "The man had given one nod to the Virginian, and the Virginian one to him; and now he was already below them on the descending road" (Wister 1998, 67). Both authors describe minor characters to depict the society and diversity for human beings. Ellen's mother is stuck to values preached by the society. In the Virginian, Owen Wister opposes large ranchers and aristocracy values to those followed the main character. Both works show that century-old values and traditions dominated in the society and guide behavior of the majority.
The main difference between the male and female characters is social values and traditions influenced their norms and morals. The image of hero is caused by the feeling of personal freedom and mobility, and masculine force. Social values help the Virginian to form hero's individual identities and let him stand out from the crowd. In contrast, Ellen's code of values grows out of women's culture, which is sustained by sermons and sentimental fiction. Reading a book she exclaims: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want....'" Long before she had finished, Ellen's eyes were full, and her heart too. "If only I could feel these words as mamma does!" she said to herself" (Warner 1996). She is depicted as sympathetic and compassionate, sentimental but a woman full of common wisdom.
In sum, male and female characters of the nineteenth century have much in common fighting for justice and honesty. It is possible to say that Ellen and the Virginian are a little bit "crazy" when follow their own codes of norms. But this very feature helps them to keep away from ignorance and complacency existing in the world.
Works Cited
1. Warner, S. The Wide, Wide World. 1996 2. Wister, O. The Virginian. Forge Books; 1st Forge edition, 1998. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“The American Frontier and the Western Hero Essay”, n.d.)
The American Frontier and the Western Hero Essay. Retrieved from
(The American Frontier and the Western Hero Essay)
The American Frontier and the Western Hero Essay.
“The American Frontier and the Western Hero Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The American Frontier and the Western Hero

Contemporary American Catholic Homiletic Theory and Practice

...Overview of Contemporary American Catholic Homiletic Theory and Practice Luke 4:16-21 The foundation moment in Christian preaching is written in Luke4:16-21, when Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth and stood up to read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah “and he begun by saying to them, ‘today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’”. (Luke 4:21) Upon the ripening of time, Jesus stood at that moment as the prophetic speaker proclaiming God’s scriptural Word, declaring the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah in his person. He spoke in revelation of the fulfillment of written words to a congregation, laying down the foundation of Christian preaching that has since been the basic implement in the sustenance and propagation...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

The American Nation: A Melting Pot of Asian Americans

As a result, American society is experiencing dramatic transformations (Skop & Li, 2005).
The Asian community in the United States is a cultural group that has assumed form since the passing of the 1965 immigration legislation. Even though Asians have been arriving in the United States since the middle of the 1980s, only in the previous four decades have the waves been remarkable. At some stage in that period, the U.S. Asian population has increased dramatically, and Asians one of today’s fastest-growing ethnic and racial minorities in the nation (ibid).
Asian immigration to and settlement in the United States is somewhat well recognized. Generally, Asian immigrants are geographically concentrated, with the imm...
7 Pages(1750 words)Assignment

Women in American Politics: Past and Future Challenges

The official political role of women in the colonial period was not definite at all. Political rights were founded profoundly on ascribed status such as birthrights and on achieved status such as property. Religion also contributed in determining who could and could not play a part in politics. There was no steady and widespread difficulty in the participation of women in political life, yet only a small number of women voted in England and North American colonies, and hardly any women participated in politics to the degree of putting into effect political influence (ibid). In reality, the minority had any public office at all in England, and no women can be recognized as holding elective political office in the colonies.
19 Pages(4750 words)Research Proposal

American Airlines: Supply Chain Nightmare

For this reason, it is necessary that all business sectors are carefully reviewed – as often as possible – for the appropriateness of their structure and their daily needs; managers may fail to evaluate with accuracy their firm’s needs, a fact that can cause the failure of plans applied on the relevant organization (Hardless, 2005). On the other hand, the needs of various organizational departments are different; the methods used for the improvement of a firm’s activities should be flexible taking into consideration the characteristics of the specific organizational sector, its strengths/ weaknesses but also its role in the development of the firm’s activities. Boeing is a firm with a long presence in...
15 Pages(3750 words)Case Study

Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape

...ASHER B DURAND Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796-September 17, 1886) was an American painter of Hudson River School. He was born at Jefferson Village which is now known as Maplewood, New Jersey. He was the eighth child of the eleven children of his father who was a watchmaker and a silversmith. Durand died at the age of 90 years, an exceptional expanse of time in an era when the life expectancy was limited to 45 to 50 years in America. Durand was an accomplished etcher before he turned his attention to painting. He was the acknowledged dean of the American landscape school from his election as president of The National Academy of Design in 1845, until his death. During these forty years, he set the tone for American landscape painting...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

The Theme of the Traitor and Hero by Borges

... Prof. Number Due Borges, "The Theme of the Traitor and Hero" Borges would have loved the internet. There he would have found a realization—in digital if not physical form—of the "The Library of Babel" with all of the knowledge of human civilization spread out in an endless array; but not quite all: the items that one wants most are hidden behind the tantalizing wall of Google Booksearchs snippet preview. Moving along a web-ring, one inevitably heads back to the point of origin through an unpredictable labyrinth of websites. The infinite maze is organized through the power of Google which uses mysterious and secret algorithms to seek out lost and hidden knowledge; the engine itself is named after the childish babbling that precedes human...
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review

In What Ways Did 20th Century Conflicts Change the Nature of Western Introspection

The 20th century period was marked by several conflicts: World War I, the Holocaust, World War II, the exploitation of Latin American countries, Racial Segregation and the Negro Revolution which spawned the Civil Rights Movement in America and the Feminist Movement.

The Holocaust is admittedly one of the most horrific events in the history of mankind and the impact of the horrors it brought changed the way Ellie Wiesel sees his faith. While Jews are known for their orthodox and unquestioning faith in God, Wiesel’s experiences in the concentration camps of Auschwitz compelled her to question God’s existence. In Night, Wiesel tells of the unspeakable hanging of a young boy who was left dangling for thirty min...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment

The Values of Japanese Manga and American Comics

...The Values of Japanese Manga and American Comics: a comparative perspective on heroes, their symbolism, and envelopment A comic, an extremely popularart form of the modern times, is widely considered as an essential companion for children and teens. Due to its abundant use of imagery, incorporation of fantasy materials and emphasis over basic emotions of both childhood and adolescence, comics, in the recent times, have created a separate range of appeal at the psychical level of youngsters. However there are several disputes regarding inception of comics as a special kind of art form in the modern world. Douglas Wolk observes in this context, “A whole subculture of comics expert spend their time debating what the first comics was, trying...
14 Pages(3500 words)Thesis

Discovering the Tragic Hero: Ancient and Modern

...Discovering the Tragic Hero: Ancient and Modern The concept of the tragic hero was first brought forward in ancient Greek mythology through the writings of the philosopher Aristotle as he described the important individual characteristics the tragic hero must possess. Although Aristotle outlines three requisite character traits that the tragic hero should possess, he qualifies the definition of the tragic hero with a set of events that must also take place before the hero can be considered truly tragic. Once this process is understood, it is easy to see how the sudden downfall of a mighty man, such as Oedipus the King from the play by Sophocles for example, would be dramatic and shocking to a public dominated by strict social classes...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

American Political Communications

... positive feeling expressed by any person or event. In contrast, it contains a shot of a group of Americans protesting against the health plan which induces a negative feeling as the target audience usually relate to the public shown in tapes. There are no shots in this ad showing the American flag which usually gives the audience a sense of oneness, leaving a positive effect. The video does not have any positive comments regarding the health plan which means that both sides of an argument are never featured in the same ad. There are several shots in this advertisement showing various political leaders making comments regarding the health plan which aims at statistically proving the lack of support regarding the same. It includes shots...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic The American Frontier and the Western Hero for FREE!

Contact Us