The wild, wild west. It was the final frontier back in the late 1800’s. Stories and tales of cowboys and Indians intrigued adults and children alike for generations to follow. The legends of this untamed land came alive in the lives of characters such as Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. Their true live adventures brought a sense of reality to the shows and spectacles audiences around the world enjoyed, as well as bringing a splash of excitement to the otherwise plain lives of the easterners.
These remarkable accounts of life in the west were brought to the world through touring shows such as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. These shows drew large audiences wherever they went, from the very young to the very old. The stunts and thrills highlighted the adventurous reputation of the American west, and people were hooked. In addition, the stories and fables came from actual events in lives of real people. The fact that the stories were, in some cases, real, added to the cowboy addiction that was sweeping the world. It is much easier to believe in and be intrigued by fantastic events if they and genuine and true.
And why did people’s heart rate rise when they heard the stories of these remarkable people? Simple, human nature. We crave what we can never attain, and for most a life in the rough and tumble west was a long shot at best. The majority of the population was working middle/lower class, and such adventures eluded them. There only excitement was to hear the tales and see the shows. Much in the same why we flock to the movies every Friday night, the people of the eighteenth centenary just wanted a break from the daily grind, and the west was the popular choice.
In addition, many differences between the perceived east and west during the time can be seen from the popularity of western figures. The east was crowded, loud, noisy, and very dull. The west in contrast was seen as this rowdy, untamed frontier, filled with savage Ind...