The Searchers' Narrative Structure Essay

Words: 1165
Pages: 5

From Boy to Man: The Searchers Through the Eyes of Martin Pawley
The narrative structure of John Ford’s The Searchers is centered primarily around the actions and knowledge of men. Throughout the movie, men are the figures of action, they are out scouring the land for lost loved ones while the women stay home and wait with hope. In The Searchers, just as with any search, the limiting factor involved is knowledge. Ethan, the main character, begins the movie as the leader of the searchers. His assumed role as leader is due to his past excursions as a Texas Ranger. These past experiences enable Ethan to lead most effectively because they provide him with knowledge. Ethan has the knowledge to survive on the frontier, but most importantly his
…show more content…
This short and sweet narration not only keeps the viewer up to date but also predicts that Marty lives on after the search and must play a very significant role in the plot from here on out as he is in the position to be narrating this action packed thriller of a manhunt. As the searchers get closer to finding Debbie and the search develops so does Marty and the importance of his role in the hunt. Marty explicitly tries to make his voice of reason heard, trying to overcome Ethan’s burning racism when he knocks Ethan’s rifle off target as he tries to deplete the Comanche’s potential food supply. Tides begin to seriously turn in the dynamics of Ethan and Marty’s relationship upon the discovery of Scar. Marty displays with force that he is no longer inferior to Ethan by forcing his way into Scar’s tent with Ethan. Marty’s controlling hand in the situation is further developed when Marty throws himself in between Debbie and Ethan. This action asserts that Marty’s love for his sister is overcoming Ethan’s racist motives. Ironically, Marty’s position as leader is exemplified best when he has to nurse Ethan’s injury and keep him alive. At this point, Marty completes his emergence as the main character and takes the upper hand as the more capable searcher of Debbie. Marty, as the new leader of the pack, continues his development when he solves the final piece of the puzzle to Debbie’s whereabouts, when he declares what the “seven fingers” are. Marty