Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorErisman, Fred
dc.contributor.authorAlter, Judyen_US
dc.description.abstractThis essay seeks the origins of the American Western myth in the complementary media of painting and fiction which together provided the unknowing Easterner with an idea of the American West. Illustrated magazines were leaders in the use of Western materials, featuring the wild and exciting life, establishing stereotyped figures, and portraying the West as a place of success rather than defeat. Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell are the outstanding Western painters of the period. Their paintings established themes of danger and adventure, and presented the west in terms of challenge to man's ability to survive. In fiction, some authors merely transported the sentimental tradition to the West. Others, however, contributed to the growing myth: Bret Harte, by his use of the Western setting, stereotyped characters and sentimentality; Owen Wister, by creating a sense of the West as a way of life and by developing such themes as the West as Eden, the tension between East and West, and the hero as natural man; Frederic Remington, by creating, in John Ermine, a hero who is an Adamic figure and who faces the inevitable fall from innocence. Owen Wister's The Virginian crystallizes the myth, serving as a fictional definition of it by including the natural man as hero, several important minor figures, the incidents of an Indian attack, a lynching and a duel, and the themes of .American innocence, the West as the Garden of Eden, and the nostalgia that accompanies the inevitable loss of innocence. Attempts to counter the myth are illustrated in two of Andy Adams' realistic novels and in one mock-heroic novel by Emerson Hough which burlesques the myth. Attempts to counter the myth were not effective, however, and the ideas of The Virginian survive today, partly because of the uniqueness of the land and the hero as natural man. Serious twentieth century art uses this myth as a foundation on which to build regional art and literature of high quality; less important art merely repeats the myth.
dc.format.extentiv, 281 leaves, bound : illustrationsen_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshAmerican literature--19th centuryen_US
dc.subject.lcshAmerican literature--20th centuryen_US
dc.subject.lcshPainting, Americanen_US
dc.titleThe Western myth in American literature and painting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .A556 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .A556 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record