Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian and the Western Ideal of Nature College

In American culture, the West is represented as a sprawling wilderness to be dominated by mankind. The idea of the frontier began with the Puritans in the 1600s as a dwelling of evil, a godless land that needed to be claimed by a higher power, but later grew to become a place of rebirth and freedom. This image eventually drove the country’s westward expansion, with the primary motivation being religious. Supporters of Western movement argued that it was mankind’s destiny to conquer the West – viewed as a promised land – and its unknown territories. Doug Williams’ “Pilgrims and the Promised Land: A Genealogy of the Western” argues that the core of the Western genre was born from this belief. The typical Western, whose themes can be traced back to Puritan tenets and expansionist ideals, features protagonists who defeat villains that represent the evil in nature. This hero freely roams the frontier and is a guardian for those terrorized by its villains. In typical Western media, the defeat of the villain is synonymous with the landscape becoming tamed and civilized. The protagonist, with their skills and virtues seemingly handed to them from God, is fated to conquer nature and whatever else refuses to bend to their righteous will....

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