Writing the Showdown: What's Left Behind When the Sun Goes Down

Drucilla Cornell

in Clint Eastwood and Issues of American Masculinity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230129
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235124 | DOI:
Writing the Showdown: What's Left Behind             When the Sun Goes Down

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This chapter analyzes the following Westerns: High Plains Drifter (1973), Pale Rider (1985), and Unforgiven (1992). It argues that it is the theme of trauma that allows these films to demonstrate a trajectory in which Eastwood attempts again and again to come to terms with trauma and violence. Through allegorical renderings of the disruption caused by trauma, Eastwood bridges a gap between his earlier roles as the amoral, postmodern phallic man—the ultimate trickster who can be anything and everything—and the melancholic, conflicted William Munny of Unforgiven.

Keywords: Clint Eastwood; masculinity; Westerns; High Plains Drifter; Pale Rider; Unforgiven; trauma; violence

Chapter.  13382 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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