When I think of Western I think of all the clichés of the Wild Wild West, the saloons, the cowboys riding horseback shooting guns up in the air, wild animals, and many more. From what I gathered from these resources is that all these imageries are not too off based.
In the “Words of the West,” article on Legends of America, there was a constructed list of popular lingo from that time. I noticed a lot of the quotes were about death and fights. One the first list over half of the quotes include death, guns, fear, and or mobs. Some examples are “Never run a bluff with a six-gun.” – Bat Masterson and “They say I killed six or seven men for snoring. It ain’t true. I only killed one man for snoring.” — John Wesley Hardin. They also seemed to have a good sense of humor revolving around death and shootings like Hardin did in the quote above.
In the “Ice Man” the characters weren’t fighting people but they were fighting bulls. Victor, the main bull rider, and his friends also end of fighting with the law, a battle which they do not win as they do the bullfights. In the Gunsmoke sound archive there’s a plethora of snip-its dealing with guns and vicious fights like “Busted-Up Guns,” “Dangerous Bath,” and “Reluctant Violence.”
Clearly the theme that sticks out to me in all this is the violence. Which makes since if you think about movies like The Lone Ranger, where there is a battle between cowboys and Indians and drunken men firing away shots and aiming them at beer cans. I think the writing styles, as similar to The Lone Ranger (Sorry, it’s the only Western movie I’ve seen), have a somewhat humorous twist to the battles and takedowns. It always seems a little light hearted and entertaining.
I am starting to see that fighting is the “main idea” of this Western culture. There is always an outlaw or a deputy or someone breaking the law or trying to kill someone else. It is definitely an action pact genre.