Women in Westerns

Women's roles in western movies are very diversified.Although the roles are very different from each other, they are very stereotypical.Almost all women characters in western movies play one of the following: a mother, school teacher, prostitute, or an outlaw.
Through comparing three western movies, all ranging in different eras from 1932 to 1994, it is clearly shown that whether it's the loving mother or town prostitute,
women characters often play a minorpart compared to the men, yet they are very important to the whole development of the film.
Jean Aurther plays a very loving mother and wife in the 1952 film Shane.The opening scene perfectly depicts the stereotypical mother. She stands near a window washing dishes.She is watching her son play outside.A strange man rides up on his horse and begins to talk to the little boy.The woman peers out the window at the hansom mysterious man.As he catches her looking at him she quickly hides her face as if not to be seen.
Her husband then comes out to talk to the stranger.The window and her face is always seen in the background as the two men talk but she often hides from the view of the window.Finally she comes outside and stands next to her husband without speaking as her husband introduces "the little woman" to the stranger.
This opening scene depicts the woman as inferior to her husband.She is doing housework in the background and is not heard.She does not speak except for the polite invitation for dinner to the stranger.She then silently leaves the scene to go inside to finish up fixing the dinner.
Jean Aurther's character as the "typical" wife tends to all of the household duties including all of the cooking and cleaning and takes care of the garden.She is always looking after the little boy making sure that he is not getting into any trouble.
During the dinner scene the wife does all of the serving at th…

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