America Wild West Essay

1329 Words Feb 13th, 2011 6 Pages
Following the Civil War, many Americans chose to settle west of the Mississippi river and shaped a distinct culture in this region. Generations later, this fascinating culture was transformed into the Wild West, a romanticized version of the lifestyle, to entertain the masses. The romanticized perception of the Wild West differs extensively from the reality of western settlement, but in some aspects mirrors the true western lifestyle in the post-Civil War period. Native Americans and cowboys, for instance, are portrayed rather inaccurately in the romanticized adaptations of the West, while the images of towns and settlements are similar in both the mythological Wild West and the reality of the western experience. Primarily, Native …show more content…
From these accounts, the Natives obviously were more advanced than the simple bows and arrows that typify their battle technique in the romanticized accounts of the West. Finally, although the romanticized version of the West presents only one generalized Native American tribe, there were actually a variety of Natives with unique cultures that set them apart. The Nez Perce chief himself stated that his tribe was willing to battle other groups of Native Americans, showing that there was not one unified tribe but many, each with their own beliefs and traditions (Document A). Based on the twisted perception of the Wild West, Native Americas were thought to be savage creatures with a single unifying culture that relied upon rudimentary weapons. In reality, however, they were relatively peaceful, fighting the settlers only when provoked, with separate and distinct cultures. Furthermore, cowboys were portrayed much differently in the romanticized versions than how they behaved in reality. Primarily, these cowboys were seen as leading glamorous and heroic lives, but in the true West, they worked hard performing monotonous tasks such as moving cattle. Although cowboys thoroughly enjoyed their jobs, he also spoke about the hard toil they had to undergo on a daily basis, driving cattle slowly throughout the wilderness with little free time to rest or relax. Also, the lives of cowboys were hardly easygoing, as fatal accidents

Related Documents