Wednesday, 8 April 2009
The Seven Basic Plots of Westerns
Frank Gruber, a veteran writer of pulp Westerns, argued that there are seven basic plots in Westerns:
Some of these plots are derived from time and place
1. Cavalry and indians
2. The Union Pacific or Pony Express story
3. The homesteaders or squatters theme
4. The cattle empire story
5. The lawman story
6. The revenge story
7. The outlaw story.
Other plots can be distinguished outside the genre, so the genre's durability can sometimes be explained by its ability to digest and shape any source material.
The frontier experience, civilisation/wilderness and east/west themes are omnipresent in most of the themes above.