Myth and Reality of the Old West and Frontier

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&quotWhat is a myth and how much realism does it hold?&quot Onemight tend to ask. The answer to this query is quite elaborate sincemyths describe traditional or legendary stories that give a depictionof heroism and in most cases lack a sizeable and determinable basisfor explanation or proof (Merriam-Webster, 2003). Therefore, actingon this realization, the reality to myths is hardly explainable sincethe circumstances surrounding the prevailing situation are dubious.For instance, for most communities, there are mythical stories thatextol a specific individual whose supremacy and actions hadsignificant influence in the community’s functions. Despite therealism to most mythical stories being questionable, the evidentaspect attributed to these stories is that they specifically containa certain theme the pertinent society tries to communicate to itsmembers.

Essentially, myths are such an apt approach to explaining some of thesignificant incidences that have taken place in the past and whichhave influenced the contemporary society’s actions. As per thereviewed reading, regarding the establishment of westernization, anumber of factors are communicated. Typically, covering the entirethemes may be in one way or another burdensome and focusing on asingle theme is appropriate to give the readers a comprehensiveunderstanding of the overall subject. As a result, based on theprominent shows and discussions in the western history, the issue oflaw and order is sizably a theme worth the focus. As per the law andorder manifestation in the stories, the authority figures andviolence are notable factors that help build themes as well asexplain how old west came to develop and be won.

The introduction and definition of myths show that some of thediscussed and praised concepts somehow lack determinable basis, whichmay help explain the overall occurrence. Therefore, acting on thisnotion, a comprehensive analysis of law and order theme brings in theissue of cowboys and gangsters in the society and their influence incivilization. According to the article, how the West got wild, thereis a critical assessment of how the West was established. Acting asper the article considerations, it is clear that the West was notcreated or won by guns instead, it was won by shovels and sweat.Therefore, the fact that Southwest transcendent mythical depiction ofheroes in the society included killers, the likes of Wyatt Earp,Geronimo, and Billy, as contributors to the entire process, it is alla delusional approach to heroism in the pertinent society (Udall etal., 2000).

That is, the matter’s reality is that these killers are iconic inhundreds of books and among millions of American for no reason, sincethey did not have any contribution to civilization process. The samecase applies to Cowboys since their influence in the societycontrolled how activities were executed. For instance, anytime theCowboys would show up, the society would hurriedly close downbusinesses and watch in fear (Z, 2013). As per the Cowboys’perception, their actions were typically what they were supposed todo. That is, the people actions were dictated, and their love forcontrolling people surpassed logic. As a result, when one of thecowboys disorients himself from the group, the society cannot believethat one would desist from restricting people from accessing thebasic requirements. A reflection of the society’s actions as perthe frontier period, the society was substantially a violent placesince the looming gangsters and cowboys controlled the communityfunctions thus, causing fear among the dwellers evident with shopclosure once they appeared.

Considering the fact that cowboys and killers were a threat to thesociety, the theme of law and order shows that being a bad boy waslegendary. That is, the Cowboys were not commanded to terrorize thecommunity members, but their stand made them believe thatintimidation was inevitable. Such an occurrence is evident as per theleader’s statement, “This is what we always do”, which isopposed by the member who eventually withdraws from cowboy ways (Z,2013). Alternatively, the gangster side prominence was not much of athreat to the society since the sheriffs also had sizeable controlover the prevailing situations. Such sentiment is evident with theBump Patrol Cowboy Commercial where the arrival of cowboys in thesociety sees people free for safety because of fear. However, thesheriff’s presence intimidates the Cowboys, apparent with theperpetrator’s shaky hands and the collapse.

A review of the general violence and frontier myth shows that each ofthese groups had specific intimidations to the applicable target lot(Dippie, 2004). For instance, the Cowboys intimidated the societydwellers while the sheriff caused fear among the cowboys. Much havenot changed from the old society, since the issue of heroism as perthe contemporary society seems to hold. That is, the old west societyheroism among the cowboys terrorized the society while the sheriff’spresence intimidated their actions. The same is clear as per thepresent society since gangster groups terrorize the society but inthe presence of law enforcers, their superiority is infinitesimal.

Being legendary, as per the reviewed clips contains heroism actions.First, the sheriff, being the star in this commercial, his presenceis clear a cause of fear among the cowboys. For example, when theCowboys show up in the society, everybody hurriedly looks for covermoreover, with the sound of gunshots typically people tend to run forsafety. However, as per the theme of law and order depicts in theentire west establishment, the sheriff’s role and superioritysurpassed any other group functions. Thus, without even the slightestaction, the show of his presence causes panic among the cowboys andtheir superiority immediately dies off. More so, the sheriff’ headshake causes weakening in the cowboy and eventual fall to the ground(H, 2014). Therefore, since the guy has the right product as per theadvert sensitization, he is a threat to the opponents, and a show ofexceptionality is when he uses the cowboy’s face to light thematchstick.

Heroism is not innately acquired instead, it is created throughexperience and interaction with societal functions (Hutton, 1976).Consequently, a legend is praised as per the prevailing generation isthe posed characteristics catches their imaginations. In case aperson’s actions do not catch the attention of the prevailinggeneration, despite their exceptionality, they stand no chance ofbeing legends. Such an occurrence is evident that there are a numberof people who participated in civilization, but their impacts are notpraised (C, 2009). Alternatively, an individual may be a hero as perthe current generation but a change in their characteristic acts asthe barometric platform for measuring of the society’s changingaspect. Additionally, the changing aspect other than being used asthe measuring platform, a hero’s change leads to a loss inprominence and the establishment of a new character. It is on thisground that the West holds such significant position in the presentsociety since it acts as the measure of revitalized process or failedventures. Moreover, the West’s consideration of the present societymay give the portrayal that the society has improved substantially.


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Dippie, B. W. (2004). Drawn to the West. Western HistoricalQuarterly, 35(1), 4-26.

H. (2014). Bump Patrol Cowboy Commercial. Retrieved September 08,2016, from

Hutton, P. A. (1976). From Little Bighorn to Little Big Man: Thechanging image of a Western hero in popular culture. The WesternHistorical Quarterly, 7(1), 19-45.

Merriam-Webster, S. (2003). Dictionary.

Udall, S. L., Dykstra, R. R., Bellesiles, M. A., Marks, P. M., &ampNobles, G. H. (2000). How the West Got Wild: American Media andFrontier Violence. Western Historical Quarterly, 31(3),277-295.

Z. (2013). T-Mobile Cowboy Commercial – No Contract Cell Phone PlanCommercial 2013 – YouTube. Retrieved September 08, 2016, from