Ladies And Loners: A Comparative Gender Study Of The Romance And Popular Western
Henderson, Courtney Rena
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Despite the efforts of readers, writers and cultural critics, the fact remains that romance and the Western genres are considered low art. The real impetus behind this paper is not whether or not or even why they are considered low art. The important questions for me, the cultural critic, are: Why are these books so popular? What do they offer their readers? In considering their popular appeal, I think the implication of gender is the most illuminating piece of the puzzle. In this thesis, I will analyze the gender-specific fantasies offered in the Western romance novel and the popular Western, which will include characterizations of the hero and heroine in each of the novels, the employment of language, and perceptions of the genre, specifically efforts to legitimize them.