Annie Oakley and the World of Her Time Essay - Critical Essays

Clifford Lindsey Alderman


Most of the chapters in Annie Oakley and the World of Her Time are devoted to the subject’s teenage years and to her rise to fame as the world’s best sharpshooter. This emphasis allows the young reader to relate more closely to this figure. Alderman describes Oakley as a goal-setting dreamer who achieves her dream through the art of sharpshooting. Alderman’s chronological approach to the events and experiences described in the book encourages young readers to identify with Oakley’s growing maturity.

Alderman chooses to reveal some of the conflicts that Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler, had with William Cody while they performed for his very successful Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. By including these conflicts in the biography, the author portrays Oakley not as a legend but as a mortal human being who had to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, and who had to use her ability to discern the motives of the people who were advising her in her career.

It is evident that Alderman has a deep respect for Oakley. He describes her successes in detail, documenting the events in her life through the use of references. An index of events is located at the end of the book. The photographs that Alderman chooses to include in the book also affirm Oakley’s success as a professional sharpshooter. One photograph shows Buffalo Bill Cody standing next to Sitting Bull, the Dakota tribal chief, as they watch Oakley shoot....

(The entire section is 429 words.)