Retribution and revenge are essential parts of the unofficial code of the West. The seeking of revenge is a noble pursuit, unquestioned in classic Westerns: “For nearly a century the Western has celebrated the man-hunt and the man hunter. The man who with courage and skill tracks down an outlaw is one of our most constant heroes” (Calder 1975, 108). Thus, Josey Wales, in The Outlaw Josey Wales(1976), seeks retribution for the death of his family by the border territory redlegs during the Civil War.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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