Western Genre Notesx

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Western Genre Notes
Film Studies
Characteristics of the Western Genre
• The protagonist is a cowboy or a gunslinger
who typically moves from place to place.
These characters generally wear a cowboy hat,
spurs, bandannas, and buckskin. They tend to
carry a gun or revolver of some sort and
almost always ride a horse.
• The conflicts in a western are usually between
the cowboy and Native Americans or groups
of bandits that are terrorizing small towns.
• The vast landscape in a western is often
depicted as another character in the story.
• Other genres, like science fiction, use the
western to create their characters and plot.
(i.e. Star Wars)
• Most westerns emphasize the values of honor
and sacrifice.
• The setting of a western can include forts,
ranches, homesteads, Indian villages, saloons,
general stores, stables, and jailhouses.
• The presence of a saloon suggests the setting
is in the “wild west.”