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Marriage in the Old West

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cayman
Words 284
Pages 2
March 30, 2014
MARRIAGE IN THE OLD WEST In the late 1800s the American west was still frontier land and the conditions were very rustic. While there were many women who traveled west and dealt with the quality of life (Jackson Wyoming’s all women city council of 1920?) most stuck to the more civilized areas. Many of the heroes from that era typically were cowboys, lawmen, mountain man, or some other masculine endeavor that most likely lived in a manner which was not conducive to a steady relationship, much less marriage. People read stories to be entertained, to take them briefly to another place. No one wants to read about the banker or butcher who works hard day in and day out to provide for his family and survive in the west. It is the bankers and butchers who wanted to briefly escape to a fantasy that didn’t involve paying the bank note on the wagon or the house debt. The married farmers didn’t want to read about some guy taking care of the cows at 5 o’clock in the morning. People wanted to read about something that at one time in their life they wanted to do, like be the marshal or live free on the range, but they got married and had families instead. The bottom line is that the prototype of the western hero is not conducive to a married life. The hero could be married, but either his marriage would not last long or his hero antics would be curtailed. Of course there are exceptions to this, and I’m reaching 25 years into my memory bank but I believe there are several Louis L’Amour novels that had married heroes.…...

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