Blog Post #10 (4/19–before class)

For the tenth blog post, choose a short line of dialogue (or a link to a brief clip!) from The Outlaw Josey Wales and explain its significance to the movie (the plot, character, etc.) and/or its historical significance.

EDIT: I decided to play.

“Endeavor to Persevere”

Lone Wattie reflects on his meeting with the Secretary of the Interior. As a Cherokee, Lone Wattie was a member of one of the “civilized tribes” forced to endure the “Trail of Tears, the years-long forced march of Native Americans from their homes in the Southeastern United States to Oklahoma during which Lone Wattie watched his family and many others die under the horrible conditions. He has donned the Abraham Lincoln attire the chiefs sported to impress the Secretary of the Interior, perhaps trying to show him that their cultures, too, required respect and dignity. The secretary tells them to “endeavor to persevere,” an empty phrase that connotes a sense of futility and despair with no real hope of salvation. Earlier in the film, we see Fletcher respond to the senator who tells him that “to the winner go the spoils”—a similar empty phrase—to which Fletcher responds “don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining” and confirms he is familiar with the cultural indifference associated with orders to just “accept the inevitable.” Unfamiliar with this culture, the “civilized tribes” have to think about what “endeavor to persevere” really means until “when we thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.” Throughout the rest of the film, the viewer watches several instances of Lone Wattie grappling with his “Indian-ness” in the face of the “civilized” whites’ war, including the very next shot when he claims the whites’ rock candy “ain’t for eating, it’s just for looking through”—an indication that despite everything else he can see through their BS.

One of the things I like about the film is how Eastwood at least attempted to show some of the internal conflict with which Native Americans struggled and two different reaction to that conflict—Lone Wattie’s and the “squaw”‘s attempts to assimilate and Ten Bears’ and the Comanche’s attempts to fight back. As someone mentioned below, among the final scenes the viewer sees a tenuous reconciliation between two outsiders who resist, Ten Bears and Josey Wales.

9 comments for “Blog Post #10 (4/19–before class)

  1. Lilly Lightsey
    April 17, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Ten Bears:
    These things you say we will have, we already have.
    Josey Wales:
    That’s true. I ain’t promising you nothing extra. I’m just giving you life and you’re giving me life. And I’m saying that men can live together without butchering one another.
    Ten Bears:
    It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life… or death. It shall be life.

    This quote is very important to show us Josey Wales’s true character. Before this point we watch Josey fight everyone, he does not talk to anyone to settle problems. His first instinct is fight and ask questions later. Yet, Josey knows his fight is not with Ten Bears and the rest of his tribe, they just accidentally got mixed in. Josey knows he does not have the time or the power to fight and it is not needed. So he goes and does the only thing he can. He puts himself in danger, but it is to settle the fight before his friends can become mixed up in a battle they do not have to fight in. Josey Wales is not a good guy, it is very obvious from how he acts to people and how he treats them. Yet, with this quote, we see he might not just be totally bad, but instead knows when to pick his battle. Also it shows us, even if he does not always act like, he cares for his friends and does not want to put them in danger. He wants to protect them. Josey Wales has a little bit of good in him, where if, he does not have to, he will not put innocent people in danger and he will not let the innocent die. Even if he watched his innocent family die, he is not taking his anger out on anyone who is not at fault.

  2. Kyri Simmons
    April 17, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    “Are you gonna pull those pistols or are you whistling Dixie,” Josey Wales remarks. I believe Josey Wales is calling them out on a bluff. First of all this statement is significant in a historical context to the movie. In a historical context, the movie is set in the time of the civil war, and the term whistling Dixie is where the South got its nickname.

  3. April 17, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Lone Watie:
    I guess we aren’t gonna see that Navajo girl anymore
    Josey Wales:
    Guess not, But that’s usually how it is.
    Lone Watie:
    Like What?
    Josey Wales :
    I get to liking someone, and they aren’t around long.
    Lone Watie:
    I notice that if you get to not liking someone, they aren’t around long either.

    This line says it all. It lets you know why the movie is called “Outlaw Josey Wales”. Josey Wales is an outlaw that you should not mess with. If someone has a problem with Josey or he has a problem with them, nine times out of ten Josey will take the person out of the picture. Josey Wales seems kind of sincere when he says he liked the girl. Lone Watie seems to be sort of making fun of him saying that wither way the person isn’t around long. There was one instance in the film where Josey made peace with someone and that as Ten Bears. Other that this, anyone with an issues ends up dead. Josey Wales makes his own rules, doesn’t follow the law and is not to be messed with.

  4. Shemar Muirhead
    April 19, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Focus on the first 40 seconds.

    Josey Wales and his compadre come across a river where Sim Castis runs a ferrying business. There is also a travelling salesman dressed in a white suit whom is also seeking transportation across the river. This scene highlights the historical difference of blue collar workers in opposed to white collar workers. We immediately notice that Sim Castis is not dressed as fancy nor as well educated as the travelling salesman.

    The Reconstruction Era prior to the Civil War provided a viable environment for the white collar workers to widen the gap between themselves and the blue collar workers. This is evident in contemporary America as it requires a more eloquent attire to represent the white collar workers that are generally associated with an office setting and administrative duties. In contrast to the blue collar workers that require more of a protective attire and earn a living performing more labor intensive jobs.

  5. Kymberly Conaway
    April 19, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Lone Watie: [realizes Josey has snuck up behind and pulled a gun on him] They said a man could get rich on reward money if he could kill you.
    Josey Wales: Seems like you was looking to gain some money here.
    Lone Watie: Actually, I was looking to gain an edge. I thought you might be someone who would sneak up behind me with a gun.
    Josey Wales: Where’d you ever get an idea like that? Besides it ain’t supposed to be easy to sneak up behind an Indian
    Lone Watie: I’m an Indian, all right; but here in the nation they call us the “civilized tribe”. They call us “civilized” because we’re easy to sneak up on. White men have been sneaking up on us for years.

    The dialogue between Lone Watie and Josey is a testament to the Trail of Tears and the Indian Removal Acts. In 1930, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which relocated Native Americans from their homelands in southeastern United States to uncharted land in the west. These Native Americans were referred to as “civiled tribes” because they left without any major fights. Outlaw Josey Wales is set during the American Civil War which is thirty years after the Trail of Tears. In the time between the two historical events, the native people were continuously removed from their settlements.

  6. Erica Dovre
    April 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Bounty hunter #1:
    You’re wanted, Wales.

    Josey Wales:
    Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?

    Bounty hunter #1:
    A man’s got to do something for a living these days.

    Josey Wales:
    Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

    This is one of the most popular and memorable lines of the film. As the viewer already knows, Josey Wales’ wife and son were killed by a ruthless Native American tribe. He has already been through traumatic scenes of death at this point, shaping his character into a hard sided man. Throughout the movie, it becomes clear that Josey Wales does not believe that death is as heroic as it may seem, but instead, living is the hard part. This quote goes to show his feelings towards death and the act of dying, especially killing people, which he does throughout the film. The line also expresses the unfortunate work of a bounty hunter, who is about to hunted himself.

  7. Anthony Hanks
    April 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    This was one of my favorite scenes from the movie. Mainly because when I was a kid, my grandfather would always say “Hell is coming to breakfast” every time walked into a room, this film was one of his favorites and I honestly can’t count how many times I watched it with him. I think the sequence of scenes in this clip are important because it shows a turning point in the relationship between Wales and other people, he turns back to do the right thing and save Lone Watie and the pilgrims from the comancheros. During this scene the viewer is left to wonder whether or not Wales would return and to me his return is somewhat prolonged. Another important piece of dialogue in this short clip is when Lone Watie says “If I figure this right, we’re facing the sun, this outta give him an edge.” This line of dialogue means something because previously in the film Lonie and Wales were talking about how every fast gunman had some sort of an edge to being successful and in this clip Lonie realizes that Wales does utilize an “edge” to stay alive.

  8. April 19, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Lone Watie: How did you know which one was goin’ to shoot first?

    Josey Wales: Well, that one in the center: he had a flap holster and he was in no itchin’ hurry. And the one second from the left: he had scared eyes, he wasn’t gonna do nothin’. But that one on the far left: he had crazy eyes. Figured him to make the first move.

    Lone Watie: How ’bout the one on the right?

    Josey Wales: Never paid him no mind; you were there.

    Lone Watie: I could have missed.

    This Dialogue between Josey Wales and Lone Watie demonstrates the confidence Josey had in himself. Ever since he lost his family, he sought out to seek revenge and put heavy emphasis on avenging their death. He knows what he is capable of and his confidence never ceases to decrease throughout the film. He was able to take down any man that came in his path. He has reassurance that he could take on any man that threatened him. Not only that, but he is very good at analyzing threatening situations. He was able to recognize who to shoot first based on the mens’ body language. His character is strong, courageous, and determined. This foreshadows the aspect that he will always win, and no man can take him down without a fight. After all, he is Josey Wales.

  9. Michael Anzalone
    April 24, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Josey Wales and his crew stops by at Santo Rio and drinks with those in the building. An unexpected guest comes through, looking for Josey Wales. Josey asks if he’s a bounty hunter, and the man says he has to do something for a living. In response, Clint Eastwood’s character delivers an iconic line:

    “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.”

    This quote perfectly encapsulates Josey Wales’ mindset throughout the film. He has the utmost confidence in himself and his means of survival, and certainly is not going to have a lowly bounty hunter stop him. This quote can be seen not only as a threat, but a plea for the man to walk away and do something less risk-averse. As hard-nosed and distanced as Josey Wales is, he only commits violent acts on other humans in either retaliation or against those attacking innocents. He knows what he is capable of, and does not want to hurt a man who is just trying to make an honest living. In the end, Josey Wales ends up drawing and shooting the bounty hunter, as some of the onlookers catch a glimpse of how skilled Josey Wales is at survival in dangerous circumstances.

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