Even “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” didn’t offer me a gun battle! I highly expected one, especially with imagery often seen in Western movies:
The barkeeper went to the door and locked and barred it. Reaching out of the window, he pulled in heavy wooden shutters and barred them. Immediately a solemn, chapel-like gloom was upon the place. The drummer was looking from one to another. “But, say,” he cried, “what is this, anyhow? You don’t mean there is going to be a gun-fight?”
The story follows a newlywed couple traveling back to Yellow Sky. At the town, a man known as Scratchy has become belligerent. He is known for his violent attitude when he is drunk. When the new couple arrives and is confronted by Scratchy, Potter disarms him by informing him of his new wife. The two individuals part ways without any bloodshed or violence.
So far the stereotype of Western’s as purely gun slinging dramas has not been met. However, the idea that white men are superior is heavily mentioned, along with the idea that women are valued for their skills at home.
The Ice Man, written by Elmore Leonard, did not end how I expected it to end. It started out as what I saw as a typical Western; a group of manly men out celebrating rodeo victory end up confronted by the law. These men were discriminated against by an Immigration and Custom Enforcement officer, who doesn’t hide his bias at all.
“I suppose cause you people, same as the colored, all look pretty much the same. You know what white people in olden times use to call Indins? Goddamn red niggers.”
I expected the story to end in a blazing gun battle between the two opposing sides, but in the end the “Ice Man” simply arrested the individuals for being Indians.
I watched “No Room To Die”, (and made a fun trailer for it), which shared a similar theme (although with a happier ending). While the government wasn’t the antagonist of the film, the individuals mistreating minorities were. The main character in the movie became an individual set on saving a group of people being harmed.
I enjoyed this short story and greatly appreciated a new viewpoint on the Western theme. It allowed the reader to follow the struggles of a non-white individual.