Books and Movies Reviews

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Many western-oriented films tend to focus on reckless cowboys running from town to town, killing anyone who may potentially threaten their power.The Outlaw Josey Wales by Robert Daly, however, portrays a new type of main character defined by an entirely different set of morals and values.Throughout the film, Josey kills a total of 47 characters, but not once does he do so without reason.He never murdered anyone unless the situation left him no other option.In Josey Wales' opinion, self-defense represented the only justification for killing another human being; the title "outlaw" inaccurately represents his true character.
The movie begins with Josey plowing his farmland, which appears very solid and difficult to penetrate.This portrays Josey's modest beginnings as a hard worker and devoted family man.The difficult farming conditions, however, foreshadow the struggles that lie ahead for Josey throughout the remainder of the film.As he works, Josey suddenly hears gunshots in the distance and notices a thick black smoke rising in the air.He ran toward the smoke and found a band of Union soldiers burning his house and butchering his wife and son.Smoke is symbolic of the soul, and the color black represents death, thus portraying the death of Josey's soul upon witnessing the loss of his family.He attempted to save them, but one of the soldiers knocked him unconscious.After he awoke several hours later, the disheartened Josey buried his wife and son under a cross made of wood, showing his strong belief in religion (whatever it may have been).Later that day, he found a Union pistol buried among the ashes of his house.Loading the weapon, Josey fired it repeatedly at a stake of wood – not missing once.The fact that Josey's weapon-of-choice had been the former gun of a Union soldier shows how others forced him to become known as the "outlaw" Josey Wales.On the lighter…

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