Monday, 23 February 2015

The Edwards family being attacked - The Searchers

I have chosen to analyse the scene where Ethan’s family is attacked by the Native Americans.

It is interesting how there is no music playing for the majority of the scene. The music stops when Martha tells her son to close the shutter and it only begins again when Scar appears. The music stops when it is clear that the family is in danger and it does not begin again until the danger is there, when we see Scars shadow looming over Debbie. This adds more tension to the scene and more of a sense of danger.
When Aaron suspects the Native American’s are on their way he pretends he is going to shoot some birds in order to not scare his family. The fact that he goes straight for his gun, tells us that he automatically thinks of the Native Americans as a threat.

When Lucy realises they are in danger she doesn’t ask who is coming, instead she screams as she automatically knows it’s the Native Americans. This shows how this film portrays the Native Americans as being savage and dangerous. Lucy’s scream when she understands what is happening shows how they see Native Americans as ultimately evil, and dangerous. Lucy has to be slapped by her mother to stop her from panicking as she is so terrified by the threat of the Native Americans.

When Scar does arrive he arrives silently from the wilderness as his shadow looms over Debbie. It creates the feeling of fear as one moment the Edwards are settling down for dinner and the next they are trapped in their home with a threat about to attack at any minute.

This scene reinforces the idea that in the American West the settlers were the civilised people and the Native Americans were uncivilised savage people who attacked innocent settlers. This was not true, yet this film suggests that the Native Americans would attack families unprovoked and this idea becomes the basis of the films whole plot.

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