Doctorow, Atwood And Tan

Doctorow, Atwood And Tan

Brian Ricketts

Doctorow?s novel, Welcome to Hard Times is an anti-western novel. Doctorow attempts to debunk the western myth of the American dream. The essential theme in the novel is that the west fails to live up to the hope that civilization can conquer evil. In this way, it was first seen as an un-American story without any real heroes. What it really is, is a different type of historical novel, one that does not concern itself without exact historical accuracy but rather with fictional truth in which the frontier is not a land of endless potential but one vulnerable to human corruption and evil.
The characters are not typical western stereotypes. Blue is somewhat cowardly, first hiding behind Molly, and failing miserably once he confronts the Bad Man from Bodie. Though he has a talent for bringing people together (usually by conning them in some way), he is more a man of words than of actions. He is hardly the stoic, decisive western hero of John Wayne movies.
Initially, when resurrecting the town of Hard Times, Blue does not found

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