The Representation of Violence and the American West in Stephen Crane’s “One Dash – Horses”
Keywords:short story, Gilded Age America, Western, violence, irony
Although widely known and celebrated as a novelist, the late nineteenth-century US author Stephen Crane wrote a considerable number of short stories, including those inspired by his tour of the American West and Mexico. His personal insight into this region – associated with the celebration of ruthless outlaws at the high point of the dime novel popularity – influenced his critical approach to American mythologized codes of violence. This paper discusses the representation of violence in Crane’s short story “One Dash – Horses” as an example of Crane’s portrayal of the West and his original narrativization of violence in Gilded Age culture, through which he debunks the clichés of the region and its people.
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