The Virginian
by Owen Wister

   'The Virginian' is the source of most of the best in the western tradition of the American scene. There is the strong, silent hero who has a nemesis. At first, they avoid a direct confrontation but the nemesis continues to harrass the Virginian until the final shootout.
   I did not like everything about this book. For instance, the scene about Emily, the chicken who doesn't know she's a chicken. So she tries to mother every rock and stone that resembles an egg. I had little interest in that, and understood it little.
   The hero has the flaw of boyish humor and playfulness. He also cleaves too tightly to a high moral code that doesn't allow him to accept a less that perfect resolution to a problem, like that with Trampas, his nemesis.
   Molly, the Virginian's love interest, is well-drawn and important to the construction of the story. Her withholding of affection was convincing to me.
   There were cattle/horse rustlers, with Trampas involved - a



stereotypical scene in westerners.
   The Virginian was an admirable, high-character person.
   The enjoyment I derived from the book came mainly from the display of his character and that of Molly's. And also the feeling of being on the edge of civilization, a place were Adam and eve could easily have experienced the Garden of Eden.



Book Notes
Copyright 2005