PJAS 10-5

Marek Paryż
Regeneration Through Acquisition: Undoing the Pastoral in Sam Peckinpah’s The Ballad of Cable Hogue
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 10 (2016), pp. 65-78


The article explores the deconstructive use of the pastoral in Sam Peckinpah’s film The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970). The film is singular in how closely it recreates the pastoral configuration of space as described in Leo Marx’s “Pastoralism in America.” However, Peckinpah evokes pastoral images and sentiments in order to raise questions about the validity of the pastoral as an entrenched American symbolic narrative in the face of specific contextual factors, especially possessive individualism as an important manifestation of transactional relations in capitalism. By constructing a metaphor of the exploitation of nature by man, Peckinpah addresses, even if by way of implication, the issue of ecological consciousness.

Keywords: Sam Peckinpah, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, the pastoral, possessive individualism, environment

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.10/2016.05

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