Date of Defense
The Western is one of those few art forms or genres that can truly be considered American. It is not a descendant, offshoot, or inspired variation of older European styles, and may well be the oldest American style we have. It has been embraced by generation after generation as a symbol of what it means to be American, the values and attributes to which we aspire, the history from which we spring forth. The Western has resisted falling to the wayside amidst the many and turbulent changes that the United States has gone through. Each successive generation adapts Western settings and themes to new political, social and cultural climates. The lawmen and outlaws of the "Old West" are well known to Americans, and have been heroes to all at one time or another. Fluid symbols, they are easily shaped into any mold to fit the purpose of the user. They resonate with the American people, and thus refuse to die out.
Fisher, Josh, "From Social Bandit to Ambiguous Antihero: The Outlaw in Twentieth Century Cinema" (2008). Honors Theses. 2003.
Honors Thesis-Campus Only