The Stereotypical Old-West Hero

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The Stereotypical Old-West Hero

Gunsmoke was the longest running radio show ever made. It is based on the historical city of Dodge. The series is centered around the character of Matt Dillon, who is the U.S. Marshall at Dodge. Each episode is one of his adventures, usually with his fellow helper, Chester, in keeping the peace and bringing justice in the area. Dillon's independence, sense of justice, and keen problem solving ever epitomize the stereotypical old-west hero.

No matter what situation arises in Dodge, or the surrounding area, Matt Dillon is able to resolve it most often without the help of anyone else except for his faithful follower Chester. Whenever Dillon hears of a problem, he immediately goes to see what the trouble is with Chester. He doesn't listen to anyone and only brings more people if it would go better with his plan. In the episode, "Tecetta", Dillon boldly asks three gunmen to give up their guns at a bar and then tells them to leave the next morning. He says it in such a way that is unquestionable and demanding of respect. And people listen! In the episode, "The Buffalo Hunter", when Dillon and Chester go searching for the villain, Gatloff, they run into one of his skinners whose been shot. Always the independent spirit, Dillon commands Chester to stay with the man saying, "I'll ride on by myself".

Dillon's sense of justice is extremely refined. He always has a keen view on how to solve the problem at hand, and usually it is something that nobody else has thought of. Dillon makes claims such as, "I don't think someone would accidentally pour 50-60 lbs. of lead in their own face", to which Chester then replies, "Oh Mr. Dillon, I hadn't thought of that". When one of the new bar girls, Tacetta, is kidnapped by Dorgan, Dillon has a plan ready. He decides to take a group of 12 men rather than just himself and Chester so that they will intimidate Dorgan, who has been judged by Dillon as having a weaker character. Dillon also knows how to decide when to go after someone and when not to. In "The Buffalo Hunter" Dillon know that Gatloff killed his own worker, but, since he doesn't have proof, he waits until Gatloff does something else that will incriminate him. Similarly, when Dorgan is killed by Horn and Watson in "Tecetta", Dillon waits until Watson causes trouble as a drunkard to get the truth out of him.

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