• Ariana Mihalik Ward Jespersen
4. semester, Engelsk, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This thesis examines the how representations of the myth of the West have changed throughout American history in relation to cultural context, as well as how the myth is related to American identity. New historical literary criticism and the cultural psychological theories of Stuart Hall and Roland Barthes provide a theoretical framework for a historical survey of representations of the myth of the West as well as an analysis of seven narratives. Four of the narratives (“Letters From the West No. XIV. The Missouri Trapper” Lord Grizzly, Man in the Wilderness and The Revenant) are versions of the frontier narrative of the trapper Hugh Glass, while the other three are versions of the classic Western The Lone Ranger. Three themes are explored in order to provide focus for the analysis: The hero’s quest for vengeance, the hero’s symbolic belongings, and the portrayal of Native Americans. After the analysis, a partial conclusion presents the findings of the thesis in response to the question of how the myth of the West has changed. The discussion then examines enduring aspects of the myth of the West: its influence on American identity, its universality as a creation myth, and its white, male, Christian bias of perspective. The conclusion determines that the myth of the West is a fundamental tool in understanding American culture, while the final chapter suggests topics for further research.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2017
Antal sider103
ID: 258716375