I need to write an essay on The Fatal Environment. Would writing on the topic of how the final frontier was not how it was expected to be a good thesis or would it not work?

Asked on by eb121678

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Fatal Environment by Richard Slotkin is as much a work about how we study the history of the western frontier as a book about the frontier itself. It does not so much articulate a thesis about the physical geography of the west or the experience of western pioneers, as examine how a racialized ideology determined the way that the frontier and the people of the frontier were portrayed in literary works. Thus as you create a thesis for your essay, you want to focus on Slotkin's analysis of ideology, rather than a description of the frontier itself.

For a thesis statement, you could make a claim about whether you think Slotkin's analysis is correct or not, or apply Slotkin's method to other literary works that he does not discuss. 

In this assignment, a successful thesis should demonstrate that you understand how power and racist forms of imperialism shaped the myth of the frontier, rather than focusing on the actual process of westward expansion.


We’ve answered 319,673 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question