X hits on this document

PDF document

THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO - page 32 / 50

121 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

32 / 50

Chapter Three The Cowboy Way

Hans Gruber: “You know my name, but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne, Rambo, Marshall Dillon?” John McClane: “I was always kind of partial to Roy Rogers, actually.”

Hans Gruber: “Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?” John McClane: “Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!”

  • -

    From Die Hard (1988)

Of all the Western heroes, the most dominant one today is the cowboy (Smith rev.

ed. 1978, 109). The cowboy is evocative of a significant period in American history, and

that is also his function (Savage 1979, 38). Despite the closing of the literal frontier, the

cowboy’s story carries on in the new American frontier because he contributes an integral

part to America’s self-identity (Slotkin rev. ed. 1998, 4, 24). The cowboy has

transcended time – lasting for more than a century as an icon47 – by evoking the image of

America in the past (Savage 1979, 38). This led Savage to conclude that America’s

acceptance of the cowboy was indicative of his stature as a myth (Savage 1979, 3).

Because of the cowboy’s ubiquitous presence in the American mythos, Bush is

thus able to utilize cowboy ethics as a tactical tool for communicating his

administration’s foreign policy actions. The cowboy’s “Code of the West” allows Bush

to allude to the past Americans romanticize, while making a strong argument for the

29

Document info
Document views121
Page views121
Page last viewedSun Dec 04 06:30:34 UTC 2016
Pages50
Paragraphs971
Words15956

Comments