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The Easterner’s analysis in paragraph 90 explains the Swede’s uneasiness when he enters the hotel, but it does not explain his strange and aggressive behavior. There is a conflict in the story between the conventional expectations of violence on the frontier (which the Swede believes) and the beliefs of the Romper natives, who assume that their town is civilized. The story is hence not conventional; its realism brings out the individual causes of violence, even though this violence stems out of codes that might fit frontier expectations. The characters are individualized, then, but the results of the card game support the convention that the American West at the end of the nineteenth century was characterized by much mayhem. The irony of the story is that the Easterner is thus both right and wrong about the dime-store novels. In effect the Swede becomes the victim of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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