The West has long been an important geographic and symbolic space for the United States. In the 19th and 20th centuries that space became the subject of numerous popular works of fiction, first in print and later in the cinema. These texts eventually formed a specialized genre, the Western, which had its own conventions, styles, and themes. Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose and Fred Zinnemann's High Noon, both seminal western texts from the mid-twentieth century, seek to reinterpret those conventions. While the Western is often characterized as a genre of violent masculinity and rugged individualism, these two texts employ conventional Western motifs in an effort to articulate a metafictional criticism of those ideas. Ultimately, they posit a reality in which traditional portrayals of the West lead to alienation, while also advocating an escape from that alienation.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dalrymple, James C., "Shootin Up the Past: Terministic Frontiers in Angle of Repose and High Noon" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 1740.
West, Western, Angle of Repose, High Noon, Wallace Stegner, Fred Zinnemann, Kenneth Burke, Terministic Screen, de Certeau