illustration of a cowboy riding a horse against the setting sun

Riders of the Purple Sage

by Zane Grey
Start Free Trial

In Zane Grey's novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, can you relate one or more of the themes to geography?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the novel, Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey, the theme which best relates to geography is the idea that gunmen helped make the West a more lawful society. In the West, guns and lawlessness ruled which made it even harder to settle the land and become a true society.  As in the story, gunmen clear out the troublemakers and even the Mormon elders who try to force people to do their will.  Lassiter, the hero, is the most important of those who want people to live their own lives without interference from the lawless even though he too is a gunman.  In this way, geography does play a role in the theme of the gunman helping the West become a more lawful place, as contradictory as that sounds. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team