Western Tropes Seen in Pop Culture

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The Western genre has been an integral part of American pop culture, with some of its tropes present in Inda Craig-Galvàn’s Black Super Hero Magic Mama.

Often centering conflict and adventure, the Western genre explore themes such as morality, justice, and the resistance to modern change (The Script Lab). They also emphasize a stoic hero who embodies honor and sacrifice, and in the end saves the day.

Some popular tropes from Westerns that we see in the play include the ever-so-famous gun-fight standoff,  the damsel tied to the railroad tracks, and mood-shifting soundtrack.

When we think of Westerns, many think of the 1966 American classic, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Following Clint Eastwood’s character, the Man with No Name, we are drawn by the visual Western aesthetics of the American Cowboy, amplified even further by Ennio Morricone’s compositions of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Theme and The Ecstacy of Gold

The Cowboy, often noted as a Western Hero archetype, is associated with being a lone wolf who lays down the law, and is always looking for the next adventure. In films like Blazing Saddles (1974) and True Grit (2010), cowboys are lone rangers, preachers, bounty hunters, or even the town sheriff (Click here for other Wild West Archetypes in Storytelling).