Ride the rails to a frontier town, and experience the excitement
of a story with cowboys. Be a part of a posse tracking a criminal,
or just live the life of the pioneers. A novel set in the western
United States featuring the experiences of cowboys and frontiersmen.
Many are little more than adventure novels or even pulp fiction,
but some have literary value. Examples:
- Walter Van Tilburg Clark, The Ox-Bow Incident
- Owen Wister, The Virginian
- Shane by Jack Schaefer.
1. Cowboys seemed to have their own language or dialect. Find examples of cowboy talk in the story. Create a cowboy dictionary or glossary of unusual terms used in the novel and give the intended meanings of the words used.
2. What hardships did the characters in your story experience that have been wiped out by modern technology? Exchange some of the olden-day problems for modern-day ones.
3. Westerns always have a villain and a hero. Describe what personality qualities make each of these characters the hated villain or the loved hero.
4. Choose a favourite part in your story where a crucial event takes place. Map the setting from a birds-eye view. Use symbols to explain where the action(s) take place.
5. A characters physical appearance can help you imagine their role in the story more clearly. Costumes set the scene for the time and place that a story takes place. Westerns conjure images of elaborate costumes. Choose a character from the story and design a costume for a particular scene as if you were going to provide this drawing to a seamstress for sewing. Recommend the kind of fabric and the colours you would use.