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Word Count: 1,299
If ever there was an instruction manual on how to behave and fit into the Wild West society The Virginian written by Owen Wister in the 1900s is said manual Wisters purpose in this novel is to provide entertainment for his intended audience Easterners who have not yet ventured west and to depict a clear picture of everyday Western life and those who live it He wants to give the reader knowledge of what behavior is expected in the West and an idea of what and what not to do in order to fit in with the occupants of the Western land In order to achieve his goal Wister writes from a very observant first-person perspective uses a comparecontrast organization between east and west and includes a substantial amount of revealing dialogue between the storys characters Wisters combination of these three strategies opens a window for his intended audience as well as for readers today to truly view the West without having to experience it first hand The first strategy that Wister utilizes is telling The Virginian from a very observant first person perspective The narrator an Easterner who is visiting the West for the first time realizes that he is an outsider in every sense and closely observes these new people and surroundings in an attempt to truly understand this land so strange to him One example of the narrators keen observation skills is seen in the very descriptive account he gives when first arriving in Medicine Bow Rather than simply using a few choice adjectives to describe his impression of small towns in the West he states that they were dotted over a planet of treeless dust like soiled packs of cardsHouses empty bottles and garbage they were forever of the same shapeless pattern More forlorn they were than stale bones 12 As if this wasnt enough he goes on to describe all of the buildings and businesses in the town as he
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