Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement
This paper looks at John Ford's 1956 film The Searchers as a literary, cultural, and ideological heir to Homer's Odyssey. Each work centers on a morally ambiguous protagonist on a mission to preserve the integrity of his household and his own honor, a quest made urgent by the sexual threat posed by a woman. While Homer's story explores issues of Greek identity and the ethnic anxieties generated by trade and colonization, Ford's film addresses racial and Cold War tensions prevalent in1950s America. Both works ultimately destabilize the categories of "us" and "them," encouraging audiences to reconsider this dichotomy.
Day, Kirsten. “‘What Makes a Man to Wander?’: The Searchers as a Western Odyssey.” Arethusa 41.1. (2008): 11-49. DOI: 10.1353/are.2008.0010
Augustana Digital Commons Citation
Day, Kirsten. ""What Makes a Man to Wander?": The Searchers as a Western Odyssey" (2008). Classics: Faculty Scholarship & Creative Works.