How The West Was Won By Louis L Amour: A Literary Analysis

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Similar themes can be presented in novels with completely different settings. After reading a book set in the new West, Downriver by Will Hobbes, then reading one in the old West, How The West Was Won by Louis L’Amour, a theme of survival is presented in each novel. In the modern book, Downriver, a group of teenage troublemakers join a program called Discovery Unlimited and are sent to Southern Colorado to learn how to live off the land. But in How The West Was Won, families move west in search of land and new beginnings and realize the dangers of the west. In each novel there is fear of the west and the characters are exposed to the importance of survival skills when in dangerous situations. Because the settings are so contrasting, the characters in each novel face disparate situations that call for different survival skills. Each novel develops the same theme that the…show more content…
Star, a character in Downriver, was on her own in Portland and Los Angeles for two years before she was enrolled in Discovery Unlimited. When Jessie, the main character, was talking to Star about her past, she asked, “You don’t have to tell me this, but . . . is it as awful as they say . . . the things you have to do to survive” (Hobbs 82)? Star had to go to great lengths in order to feed herself, find a shelter for the night, and stay safe. Although she was surrounded by houses and warm meals, she didn’t have the money to have both of these necessities. Even though she was in a civilized setting, there still were many skills she had to learn to stay alive like finding a job so she could earn money for food, knowing what areas of town were safe and what areas were dangerous, and finding clothing and bedding for herself. Being in a city doesn’t assume it is easier to survive than in the old West. Star faced people who would kill her, troubling weather, and poor living conditions like the people moving out to the old

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