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Wild West Vs. The Reality Essay

909 words - 4 pages

10/2/14

Destiny WhiteAPUSH5th1 October 2014Wild West vs. RealityIn the late nineteenth century, a new form of sensational fiction emerged. Called dime novels because of the five to twenty-five cent sale price, these pocket-sized books told short stories of American frontier adventure. Often stereotypical, these stories centered on macho heroes and damsels in distress, which never venturing far beyond plotlines of capture and rescue and pursuit and escape. The nature of these stories, which featured a set number of identifiable characters such as Deadwood Dick and Old King, kept readers coming back for more.Despite the exaggerated violent stereotypes perpetuated by dime novels, the ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately this harsh labor only gave them $25 a month and a reasonable of food. When injury occurred, cowboys either drank liquor or poured it on the wound to kill bacteria. Though we see nothing but many contrasts about the unrealistic world and reality of cowboys, they had one thing in common. Both went blew their money in saloons on booze, women, and gambling.Characters portrayed as cowboys who saved those in distress were the first in dime novels to become famous. Wild Bill Hickok and Deadwood Dick are just an example of the Western protagonists that the public cherished. Although as the west became more urbanized later on, cities increasingly became the new metaphor for the Wild West and detective roles came into dime novels. Francis Worcester Doughty wrote the Old and Young King Brady, Detectives around this time of urbanization. Based on Old King and his son Harry, the Brady's, sensationalized the dangers of the new urban landscape with menacing stereotypical villains like robbers and gangs. Though the men described sounded more like a Sherlock Holmes rather than a Wild West cowboy, but yet they were very much intimidating, "tall, gaunt figure, clad in dark trousers, a long blue frock coat, a standing collar, and an old-fashioned stock. A wide-brimmed white felt hat covered his closely cut white hair, and a pair of shaggy eyebrows shaded his deep, piercing eyes."...

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