Frontier Myth the E-Frontier The Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Such ads have become increasingly common within the last fifty or so years, as other elements of cultural life tell Americans that the western frontier is closed. Therefore, commercialism is playing off our yearning for a new frontier, one which we can still romanticize.

The next step of the western frontier is through the World Wide Web. As print advertising has moved into massive online advertising, the western romanticized image has also gone digital. The online world itself represents a new frontier to be conquered, both by capitalism and the individual consumer; "Like the western frontier, the e-frontier is vitally significant to American economic and strategies of interests that were manifested first in continental (and now wired) expansion;" (McLure 458). It embodies the feeling of discovering a whole new world, a whole new playing ground which is then to be settled and explored. According to research, "the cyber frontier also appeals on a popular level to many romantic, nostalgic western myths about endless horizons, unlimited opportunity, and untrambled freedom," (McLure 458). Even the words used to describe the internet harkens back to western ideology with words being used such as "cyberspace," "netscape," and "internet pioneers." Online advertising and shopping is currently in the midst of an online gold rush, where there are big profits to be made, "Elements of the Old West survive in the gold rush mentality and the lawlessness and crime that have accompanied the opening of the electronic frontier," (McLure 459). It has become obvious over the success of the internet that there are massive amounts of money to be made. Therefore, it is repeating the old gold rush mentality; "Suddenly everyone is headed for cyberspace, scrambling to stake their claim to a domain name right before someone else grabs it and hoping to strike it rich on the e-frontier," (McLure 460). Companies are now spending more money on online advertising than traditional print advertising. One advertisement in particular was an interactive shooter. The task was simple, to point the mouse at the wild horses and click, attempting to wrangle five buckers. Once the task was complete, it automatically forwarded the page into their product of advertisement. Companies are developing revolutionary and interactive technologies to stay one step ahead of the game and dominate this new frontier.

However, just as in the real days of the Old West, this new frontier also comes with its dangers. Hiding behind the opportunities and cheap deals the internet has to offer are spammers, online predators, and con artists with elaborate schemes to steal from the average internet consumer. It is clear that the romanticized image of the west fits in with a repetition of real dangers faced by original pioneers; "As did the men who flocked to the various gold and silver rushes of the American West, day traders are engaging in risk-taking behavior with a high probability of failure," (McLure 462). Spammers are especially hated within online communities. They represent an invasion of space and a lack of concern for pioneer privacy. According to research "Because the electronic frontier is still generally a lawless territory, vigilantism is often he preferred -- and sometimes the only effective -- response to what cybersettlers perceive as crimes against both property and people," (McLure 463). Therefore, cybersettlers have begun taking justice into their own hands.

As we get further and further into the new millennium, it is clear that the internet is the next frontier, and that companies are exploiting the romanticism of the old frontier in this new one. With more developed technologies at their fingertips, ads are continuing to exploit romanticized images of the Old West, but with more interesting and interactive technologies. It will be interesting to see where capitalism drives this newly regenerated romanticized image of the Old West as technologies continue to develop.


McLure, Helen. "The Wild, Wild Web: The Mythic American West and the Electronic Frontier." The Western History Quarterly. 2000. 31(4):457-476.

Limerick, Patricia Nelson. "What on Earth is the New Western History?" Trails: Toward a New Western History.…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Frontier Myth The E-Frontier The" (2009, December 01) Retrieved December 2, 2016, from

"Frontier Myth The E-Frontier The" 01 December 2009. Web.2 December. 2016. <>

"Frontier Myth The E-Frontier The", 01 December 2009, Accessed.2 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Cultural Issues in Crimes Against Humanity

    Culture that Encourages Human Rights Americans were shocked when they learned about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Or were they? Certainly, the media reported shock and outrage on the part of the public to the unpleasant revelations. But the outrage, if it really existed, has certainly not been a lasting outrage. The White House response to photos of young military personnel sexually assaulting and humiliating prisoners was to

  • Margaret Atwood s Theory of Natural

    As Canada has become less wild, many of these obstacles have been recognized by writers to exist internally, as Atwood says: "no longer obstacles to physical survival but obstacles to what we may call spiritual survival, to life as anything more than a minimally human being." Grim survival is that sort of survival which overcomes a specific threat which destroys everything else about one, such as a hurricane or plane

  • Ethics and the Internet Use

    The problem is that there is no protection against this issue. This is due to the newsfeed in the profile of each user. The argument of the company is that the news feed will ensure the users get to see more content from others. however, this means that there is no certainty of the next item that the user will see on the news feed. This is a serious

  • Legends and Superstitions in Hawaii

    Stealing Rocks From Paradise: Pele and Her Vengeance The Hawaiian Islands are home to a diverse population. Much of this population comes from Polynesian roots, and culturally, there exist many different forms of religious and superstitious ideas that permeate modern Hawaiian culture. One of these superstitions surrounds the ancient Polynesian goddess of fire and lava Pele. It is said that if a person steals a lava rock from the island that

  • Spiegelman s Maus and the Literary

    The function of myth in social cultures is explored by Mary Barnard in her the Mythmakers in which she investigates the origins of ritual in folklore, history, and metaphor. In addressing such a wide scope of material, she came to the conclusion that the origins of many mythical personas/deities related to a single familiar theme: intoxication (4). Her discoveries became offshoots of CG Jung's definition of mythology: Myths are original revelations of

  • Social and Economic Circumstances Leading

    Salem and the surrounding Essex County (the witch hunt itself went beyond merely Salem) (Norton; Linder) viewed the results of the First, and now the Second Indian War, and their own loss of material prosperity from these wars, as God's punishment for their sins (Norton). It was at about this time that several of Salem's teenage girls began having fits on which they (and their parents and others) blamed the

  • Eurocentrism and History of Amerindians Eurocentrism and

    Eurocentrism and History Of Amerindians Eurocentrism and the History of Amerindians When Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic and reached the Americas, he was convinced that he actually reached India. Because of his conviction, Columbus dubbed the peoples of the Americas "Indians." It was the beginning of European and later Euro-American myth-making in describing Native Amerindians and the shared histories of peoples who have lived in the American continent for the last

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved