American Literature Book The Virginian by Owen Wister

The author has explained the differences between the settled east and the west through its characters. In the west, people do not give much respect to the lives of others and they are killed even at the smallest of matters. However, the morals of the main character can be understood when at one point he refrained from killing a person. Following is an excerpt from the third chapter.
These lines suggest that the main character is different from other men in the west and he tries to follow his own code of conduct in life. He does not draw his gun at every smallest matter like most men in the west. The author explains that it is the cowards who shoot before it is even necessary. It is the brave men who rationalize their actions first. The passage also suggests that it is only cowards who may be dangerous when they draw weapons, however brave men do not use their weapons irrationally and unless it is absolutely necessary. Thus, the author explains the moral values of the Virginian.
The author explains the differences between the west and the east through the differences between the characters of the Virginian and Molly Wood. Molly Wood is a schoolteacher who does not exactly understand the Virginian’s ways but still they find themselves liking each other. In chapter eleven, the relationship between the Virginian and Molly strengthens when after a party, Virginian takes Molly for a horse ride and they get into an argument. Afterwards, Molly gives Virginian some books to improve his education and the Virginian gives Molly riding lessons. The Virginian finds himself in love with Molly and tries to confess it to her but Molly does not feel the same way. They had to separate due to their jobs. This may be the factor that triggered a change in the Virginian’s life.
Towards the end of the book, the author shows that the Virginian is a changed man. When

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