Western Film And Unforgiven: The Western Genre

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Films are reflective of cultural values, with each genre representing a different facet. The Western genre is perhaps the most iconic; fueled by masculinity and valor, with smoking guns, dashing heroes, and wicked villains, watching these films is an exciting experience. Beneath their dramatic, riveting surface, is a compelling narrative form, upheld by numerous authors over the past hundreds of years. The basic form of the western involves a hero, a villain, and a woman. With the villain always as an amoral scoundrel and the rest of the cast as virtuous and noble citizens, their roles are clearly cut. The villain attempts to continue his way of life, even when it is detriment to the progress of society. The hero must then swoop in and kill the villain, thus freeing the rest of the characters to become civilized.…show more content…
This is the classic good versus evil story. This is Shane, a western film produced in 1953 with very much a black and white morality. However, with the passage of time, Western films began to evolve, giving life to morally complex movies such as Little Big Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and Unforgiven. Although all these films are different to Shane, the most interesting in its difference is Unforgiven. Almost purposely conflictive to Shane in the way it treats its characters, the women in Unforgiven are extremely vital to the plot, unlike those in Shane. The role of womanhood, in Shane, makes it basis upon the women being the center of the nuclear family: the quintessential housewives, only there to support the stars of the show. In contrast, Unforgiven writes the role of womanhood as something inherently more complicated and gritty, showing that while the main cast of women are, in a sense, a family unit, they are also the only moral center in a group of unforgivable

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