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Gunslinging justiceThe American culture of gun violence in Westerns and the law$
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Justin A. Joyce

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526126160

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526126160.001.0001

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The guns that ‘won the Western’: firearm iconography in Western literature and film

The guns that ‘won the Western’: firearm iconography in Western literature and film

Chapter:
(p.89) 4 The guns that ‘won the Western’: firearm iconography in Western literature and film
Source:
Gunslinging justice
Author(s):

Justin A. Joyce

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526126160.003.0005

This chapter traces the changing iconography of guns within an array of literary texts from the nineteenth century and cinematic texts of the twentieth century. This chapter outlines the shifting emphases within the Western; for though the gun has always been important to the Western, the genre’s representations of gun violence have varied through its history. This chapter argues that the Western's changing iconographic emphases, from aim to speed, codes violence morally upright and justifiable at different moments within the genre’s long history.

Keywords:   Firearm iconography, Western films, Western literature, Dime novels, Speed, Aim, Gun violence, Morality, Justifiable violence, gender

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