John the cycle, but does it inadequately and unjustly.

John Moore

Shane and Unforgiven

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            In the
movies Shane and Unforgiven the two films showed themes of justice, redemption,
identity, and forgiveness they also share some of those same themes and it
seems some of the reoccurring themes in Shane and Unforgiven are apparent in
most western films.

            The idea if
redeeming Injustice and glory present themselves as major themes in the movie
“Unforgiven”. The movie opens with 2 attackers referred to as “cutters” cutting
the face of one of the prostitutes Delilah. The following parts in this scene
show the idea of injustice and the need in redeeming it.  The idea that many times most punishment isn’t
equal to the crime emphasizes the injustice of this movie. Delilah’s attackers
deserved to be punished, but being killed was too high of a price to pay for
cutting a prostitute. The only way for there to be adequate retribution to the “cutters”
would be if more violence was done to her attackers. Little Bill, the sheriff
of Big Whiskey, realizes the foolishness of this and attempts to stop the
cycle, but does it inadequately and unjustly. The Schofield Kid has a part in
this theme by want to become part of the supposed “glory” of violence by going
after the “cutters”. The Schofield kid doesn’t do this for noble reasons in
fact, He goes after the attackers just for the money that’s being offered as a

In the Unforgiven, violence leads to and
is caused by violence, whether it’s warranted or not. When the Schofield Kid is
introduced, he brags about the number of men he says he has killed, discussing with
Munny about his past. While they talk he says, in his opinion, the violence
Munny inflicted on others was cool. The Schofield kid seems very immature, although
that’s to be expected by a kid his age, he shows how naive he is and tries hard
to hide it by swearing and acting tough.  Although By the end of the movie, after killing
“Quick Mike”, the Schofield Kid finally learns the moral of the story, that glory
might not of been what he was looking for and with violence there isn’t any glory
in it.

Like most western movies danger and
fear is play a role in “Shane”. The concept of danger comes up with Marian thinking
Shane is dangerous. Marian wasn’t wrong because Shane is dangerous, although only
in certain ways and to certain people. In a sense he is dangerous to people who
threaten his freedom and his ideals, in contrast though to people like Joe he
is not “dangerous” at all. Joe is someone who exemplifies all Shane believes in.
The only people who might fear or dislike Shane are his enemy’s, the people that
don’t like Shane don’t because they fear him, not just physically, but they
also fear the person he represents. Good and bad in this film can be observed
simply by seeing who is afraid of Shane and who is not, once the initial
intimidation of Shane’s presence wears off.  


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