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"In Montana 1948 by Larry Watson, Wesley Hayden is essentially a weak man. Is this how you view him?"

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Shekhar Shastri Text Response "Wesley Hayden is essentially a weak man. Is this how you view him?" There is no doubt in Montana 1948 that Larry Watson portrays Wesley Hayden to be a weak man. Through his injured leg, his inability to please anyone and the juxtaposition with his older brother Frank Hayden, Wesley's pathos is highlighted. However, despite his wilted physique and lack of superiority in the Hayden family hierarchy, Wesley possesses a great deal of morals and mental strengths. Perhaps the most obvious portrayal of weakness in Wes is through his injured leg. This injury was inflicted on Wesley when he was sixteen years old when a horse kicked him leaving him with a "Permanent limp". ...read more.


This is discovered when Julian Hayden says to Wesley "Ever since the war... Ever since Frank came home in a uniform and you stayed home, you've been jealous." This favouritism shows that what little respect Julian has for his younger son - which stems from Franks dominance between the Hayden siblings. After Julian Confronts Wes regarding the arrest of Frank and the assaults towards Indian women, we see Wes kneeling on the kitchen floor pleading to Gail for help with the situation. It is apparent here that Wes is an extremely weak man as he is easily overpowered by his father and "...how this experience with his brother was ruining him physically" and mentally. ...read more.


My son!" Furthermore, Wesley's defiance is not only against his family, it also stems to his race. This is evident when Wesley defends Indian women from his brother's crimes. Although he is aware that his father and the community dislike Indians and have little respect for the people, he continues his investigations into the matter without question. This is a great deal for Wesley as it threatens his reputation among the townspeople and gives Julian another reason to repel Wes from the Hayden family - this repulsion is portrayed during the Frank's funeral when there is a division between the families at the graveside. In essence, Larry Watson challenges the tough masculine stereotype of the American West through Wesley who is a crippled, Montanan sheriff. Through this, we see that Wesley is depicted as a physically weak man; however, his physical strength is overpowered by his morals and beliefs. ...read more.

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