By Mark Harrison
The cave in of Roman rule in Britain was once now not quite a bit a surprising disaster as a protracted and drawn-out decline. The 'Celtic' Britons retreated progressively to the highland components of Wales, Cornwall and the south-west of Scotland. keep watch over of the fertile jap lowlands was once misplaced to warriors of Germanic starting place who migrated from the Continent. those Germanic conquerors became recognized to heritage because the 'Anglo-Saxons'. They have been to dominate the lowland sector of england till their ultimate defeat at Hastings in 1066. This identify offers an perception into the typical lifestyles, gear, gown, conflict strategies and existence on crusade of the common Anglo-Saxon warrior of this era – the thegn.
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Millie the shopkeeper and Aggie, the benign “dance hall girl,” fulfill the familiar virgin-whore model of the female that is basic to the genre, each figure enabling the male’s adventure and eventual restoration of the land. The episode is something of a throwback, refusing to problematize the knight-errant frontiersman as Ford did in The Searchers, also a 1950s western. “The Wyoming Story” is a tale of a fa- 49 Chapter 2 50 ther’s departure and return, an affirmation of the father’s basic goodness under remarkably trying conditions, and an essential consolation to both the adult and juvenile audiences at a time when the postwar nuclear family was under stress.
It is also an archetypal western in its valorization of the older man as teacher to the younger one, an idea fundamental to the series but embodied here not in Lucas’s instructions to Mark but in Lucas’s lessons from Micah. Unfortunately, the Lucas-Micah relationship did not retain much of this dynamic throughout the show’s run. While Micah is allowed his dignity and occasional moments of indispensability, his authority in North Fork seems peripheral to the huge physical and moral presence of Lucas (Micah’s acute aware- The Domestic Frontiersman and the Vital Center ness of the problem is exploited to some dramatic effect in a few episodes).
McCain is also the enforcer of the status quo, the show’s message of tolerance and forbearance always circumscribed by the ideological assumptions of the era that understood armed force as a necessary—and not always last—resort. Thus the political context of the 1950s is key to understanding the themes of The Rifleman. S. 3 Fabled “Indian fighter” Davy Crockett (Fess Parker) begins two key episodes at home with his wife, Polly, and their “young ’uns,” although he is inevitably summoned off to battle.
Anglo-Saxon Thegn 449 - 1066 Ad by Mark Harrison