(David) Sam(uel) Peckinpah Paul Seydor - Essay

Paul Seydor

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The true theme Peckinpah discovered in The Deadly Companions] has little to do with any ironic treatment of the western as a genre. The true theme is so central to much of his own work, to a good many westerns (Stagecoach is a classic expression of it), and to a sizable chunk of American literature (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and "The Bear" are two outstanding examples) that he couldn't help feeling the shocks of recognition. That theme is a trek into the wilderness where, away from society, a person may be reborn or in some sense reconstituted, often through an ordeal of physical crisis or a trial of violence. Much of this journey finds Yellowleg and Kit tearing at each other with a savagery...

(The entire section is 2818 words.)