This paper offers an analysis of the AMC television series Breaking Bad by placing it directly into the tradition of frontier narratives and the Western film. It looks to understand the aspects of the Western genre that the series revises as well as understand Breaking Bad as both a revisionist Western that redefines certain tropes common to the family-centered Western, as well as a Meta-Western that calls attention to the impact of the frontier myth on modern characters like Walter White. It finds that to make a "contemporary Western," as creator Vince Gilligan termed it, the show revises the traditional Western narrative by denying a regenerative quality to violence and demanding a multicultural, complicated, and ongoing understanding of the American frontier. The paper concludes by analyzing how the show's cultural allegories are a reaction to, and a critique of, a modern crisis of masculinity and the American empire.
|Commitee:||Hagelin, Sarah, Herring, Rodney|
|School:||University of Colorado at Denver|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 53/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American literature, Mass communications, Film studies|
|Keywords:||Breaking Bad, Frontier, Myths, Savagery, Western films|
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