The Psychology of the Western
How the American Psyche Plays Out on Screen
About the Book
Western films are often considered sprawling reflections of the American spirit. This book analyzes the archetypes, themes, and figures within the mythology of the western frontier. Western themes are interpreted as expressions of cultural needs that perform specific psychological functions for the audience. Chapters are devoted to the frontier hero character, the roles of women and Native Americans, and the work of the genre’s most prolific directors, Anthony Mann and John Ford. The book includes a filmography and movie stills.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
Table of Contents
1. The Mythical Landscape 11
2. White Knights of the West 23
3. The Civilized and the Savage 34
4. Western Women 60
5. Atonement with the Indian 73
6. Oedipal and Biblical Westerns 87
8. John Ford’s Ritualistic Westerns 140
Conclusion: The Western… Dead or Alive? 177
Book Reviews & Awards
“fans of Western movies will enjoy this book…accessible,interesting, and insightful”—Southwest Journal of Cultures.