Thursday, February 18, 2010
Alpha Male Cowboys
Both Tom and Matt are alpha male cowboys by the end of the film based on the qualifications given in Matheson and Tompkins' writing. Matheson qualifies the alpha-male cowboy as being hardboiled and being the law. Tompkins defines the alpha male as not fearing death, speaking with actions, and dominating the land. Tom's status is initially given to us as the alpha male because he commands many people and leaves by himself to start his own ranch. He also draws his gun faster than anyone else. When Matt meets up with Tom, he is just a child, but he stands up for himself. As Tom's protege, he obviously emulates Tom and eventually even draws a gun faster. In the end, Matt takes on Tom's role as the ranch leader, thus becoming the alpha male, and when Tom threatens to shoot Matt, he does not draw, therefore illustrating his courage when faced with death. Both cowboys do however, speak more than Tompkins might say the alpha male cowboy would and since they are looking for profit, might not be true alpha-males. They also both fall in love, but still put their missions over their romantic endeavors. All factors considered, the two cowboys positive alpha-male traits outweigh their domestic, entrepreneurial qualities.