In the text, Tompkins writes "The qualities needed to survives on the land are the qualities the land itself possesses - bleakness, mercilessness. And they are regarded not only as necessary to survival but as the acme of human perfection." John Wayne's character in "The Searchers" certainly has some of the dry and merciless characteristicsthat Tompkins refers to. The film shows the various hard, dry conditions of the West and John Wayne's journey of battling the forces of nature to save his niece.
The men who survive the conditions of the West appear to be a product of their environment. In the film, John Wayne appears to be just as tough and unforgiving as the ground he walks on. One instance of this is when he considers killing his niece so she doesn't have to live her life as a member of the Indian tribe. John Wayne has a personality that is as dry as the land. It is very rare to find a scene where he smiles, which shows the extent of his focus on finding his niece. The only emotions that show through him are anger and determination, which is a result from constantly enduring the challenges of the West.