The Virginian Characters

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The characters in The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains can generally be classified as either Eastern or Western, with a tendency on Wister's part to combine the contradictory values of each region in an occasional character.

When a synthesis occurs, the resultant character is uniquely multifaceted, with a personality of legendary proportions, as is the case with the Virginian.

As Richard Etulain points out in his critical biography of Wister, he was "the first notable writer to utilize the cowboy as a literary hero. The cowboy had appeared in a few dime novels but nearly always as a minor figure and frequently in an ungallant role." Unlike these unsavory literary predecessors, the Virginian is a homogeneous mixture of Eastern chivalry and Western bravado. A rare combination of aristocratic gentility and adventurous independence, he was the prototype for the much imitated Western hero, "the strong, but silent type."

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This section contains 629 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Virginian Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Virginian from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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