Essay on The Man From Laramie By Anthony Mann

1738 Words Jul 25th, 2016 7 Pages
“The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles. He must therefore entertain new ideas and form new opinions” (Crevecoeur, 1782). A few generations later, one romanticized version America’s new man, with new principles, new ideas, and opinions is the man depicted in the Hollywood Western. That man, or person, is the settler, cowboy, or lonesome traveler who traverses the Western frontier in search of his place in and the promise of America. As America expands its frontier to the West during the nineteenth-century, the depiction of what it means to be a heroic settler formed in the American psyche. When films came to the silver screen the genre of Hollywood Westerns created protagonists who exemplified qualities often associated with what it means to be an American. Cole Hardin, of William Wyler’s The Westerner, and Will Lockhart, of Anthony Mann’s The Man From Laramie, are two characters in particular that personify the heroic qualities of what it means to be American in the late nineteenth-century and embody traits that Americans for generations to come admire and aspire to duplicate. That said, the question remains why did the character being a loner from nowhere create such mass appeal that it became a key element and suitable plot device to carry the stories for films in the genre of Hollywood Westerns? While that answer is a complex one that this paper can only brush the service of, and certainly has more than one answer, but part of the reason will be…

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