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Errand into the Wilderness: The Cursed Earth as Apocalyptic Road Narrative


Mobility is a significant feature of American history and culture. This is reflected in the literature and cinema of the road genre, in influential novels such as Jack Kerouac's On the Road and John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, and in films like Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Easy Rider (1969). However, when non-Americans create road stories they tend to employ symbols and narratives that are often considered intrinsically American. These storytellers appear to have absorbed or internalized aspects of American national identity, and this is reflected in their work. This is demonstrated in The Cursed Earth, an apocalyptic road story in twenty-five parts, which was published in the British weekly comic 2000AD from May to October 1978. Written by British writer Pat Mills, with contributions from John Wagner and Chris Lowder, The Cursed Earth features the character Judge Dredd, perhaps the most popular and most recognizable icon of British comics of the last thirty years. Through close textual analysis of the Cursed Earth story, this article reveals how thematic elements of the road genre are linked to significant themes in American history and culture.

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1 Jack Kerouac, On the Road (New York: Penguin, 1991), xxvii.

2 John F. Kennedy, “The National Purpose Discussion Is Resumed: ‘We Must Climb to the Hilltop,’” Life, 22 August 1960, 70B–77.

3 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (New York: Bantam, 2000), 661.

4 Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1953), 37.

5 Henry Louis Mencken, The American Language (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1921), 29–30.

6 John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley in Search of America (New York: Penguin, 1986), 103–4.

7 Stephen E. Ambrose, Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 43.

8 See David Hopkins, ed., The Bering Land Bridge (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1967). For a dissenting Native American point of view see Vine Deloria Jr., Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact (New York: Scribner, 1995).

9 In particular see Richard Slotkin's trilogy of books Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1973), The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890 (New York: Atheneum, 1985) and Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Atheneum, 1992).

10 Jim Kitses, Horizons West: Directing the Western from John Ford to Clint Eastwood (London: British Film Industry, 2007), 9. Hunter Thompson writes of the Angels, “The concept of the ‘motorcycle outlaw’ was as uniquely American as jazz. Nothing like them had ever existed. In some ways they appeared to be a kind of half-breed anachronism, a human hangover from the era of the Wild West.” Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels (London: Penguin, 1999), 78.

11 Janis P. Stout, The Journey Narrative in American Literature: Patterns and Departures (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983), 17.

12 Jack Sargeant and Stephanie Watson, eds., Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of Road Movies (London: Creation Books, 1999), 18.

13 See, for example, Eyerman and Lofgren's analysis of Swedish road films. Eyerman, Ron and Lofgren, Orvar, “Romancing the Road: Road Movies and Images of Mobility,Theory Culture Society, 12 (1995), 5379.

14 Alex Garland, The Beach (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997).

15 John Cawelti, The Six-Gun Mystique (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Press, 1984), 35.

16 See “Looking For Maps: Notes on the Road Movie as Genre,” in Lost Highways: An Illustrated History of Road Movies (London: Creation Books, 1999), 6–20.

17 Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark, eds., The Road Movie Book (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 2.

18 Martin Barker, Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1989), 25–30.

19 Colin M. Jarman and Peter Acton, Judge Dredd: The Mega-History (London: Lennard Publishing, 1995).

20 Martin Barker, “Taking the Extreme Case: Understanding a Fascist Fan of Judge Dredd,” in Deborah Cartmell, I. Q. Hunter, Heidi Kaye and Imelda Whelehan, eds., Trash Asthetics: Popular Culture and Its Audience (London and Chicago: Pluto Press, 1997), 14–30, 15.

21 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 82.

22 Ronald Primeau, Romance of the Road: The Literature of the American Highway (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Press, 1996), 2.

23 Cawelti, 91.

24 Arthur Guiterman, I Sing the Pioneer (New York: Dutton, 1926).

25 Kitses, Horizons West, 48. Kitses also makes the connection between the road genre and the western. He states (93), “The journey is a trans-cultural, archetypal form, mimicking life itself, its rites, passages and cycles. The quest, the going and returning, the tests and encounters – these speak to the mysterious journey each of us makes in our own existence … the Western is by no means always a journey film. Nonetheless, by definition Westerners are travelers, immigrants, pioneers.”

26 Typical examples of such geographic focus in literature are John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Sam Shepard's Motel Chronicles and Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees – or, in film, Paris, Texas (1984), Thelma and Louise (1991) and Kalifornia (1993).

27 Martin Barker and Kate Brooks, “Waiting for Dredd,” Sight and Sound, August 1988, 16–19. Having an outsider's viewpoint can give storytellers a different perspective of America. For instance, in a discussion about the “on-location” filming of the road film Thelma and Louise, director Ridley Scott stated, “I tried to make the heartland look as exotic as possible. To us Europeans, it is. The scale of things is so vast. We can eulogize about roads with telegraph poles and Americans think we're crazy. I looked for days to find one. They don't actually exist much any more, but they are very much part of what I believe is the American landscape.” Quoted in Amy Taubin, “Ridley Scott's Road Work,” Sight and Sound, July 1991, 18–19, 18.

28 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 17. To illustrate the influence of Dirty Harry on both Mills and 2000AD consider another Mills character, Bill Savage, from the Mills-penned story “Invasion” (Pat Mills et al., Invasion (Oxford: Rebellion, 2006)). In 2000AD's second issue, which was, coincidentally, the issue in which the first Dredd story appeared, Savage faces down an enemy with the words, “I can read your mind sunshine … you reckon I've fired both barrels of me cannon … so you've got the edge on me! But supposing I've only fired one barrel? Draw your own gun and let's see how lucky you are … ” Compare this to Harry Callaghan's dialogue in Dirty Harry as he taunts a wounded bank robber: “I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a.44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky?”

29 Pauline Kael, “Killing Time,” in Karl French, ed., Screen Violence (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), 175. Kael argues that Eastwood's Harry is partly based on the character Roy Bean, the “hanging judge,” known for dispensing instant frontier justice. John Milius has screenwriting credits for both Dirty Harry and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972). It is possible that Dredd's creators were influenced by both characters.

30 Martin Barker and Kate Brooks, Knowing Audiences: Judge Dredd, Its Friends, Fans and Foes (Luton: University of Luton Press, 1998), 1.

31 Michael Wood, “The Impatience of Harry,” New Society, 2 Feb. 1984, 166–67, 166.

32 Kitses, 251.

33 Barker and Brooks, Knowing Audiences, 200. It is significant that Dredd's creators were inspired by Eastwood rather than that other iconic cowboy, John Wayne. In 1966 Eastwood played a young, cool antihero in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A few years later, Wayne played almost the only role suitable for him at 62 years of age, namely the grizzled old lawman Rooster J. Cogburn in True Grit (1969). While both roles helped cement the actors' screen personas, Eastwood had already gone some way towards replacing Wayne as the most popular actor in this genre. When Wayne attempted to emulate Eastwood's Dirty Harry character in the gritty crime dramas McQ (1974) and Brannigan (1975), the results were less than successful: Gary Wills adjudges Wayne to be here “a kind of Slightly Soiled Harry.” Gary Wills, John Wayne's America: The Politics of Celebrity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 284.

34 In Per un pugno di dollari (1964) Eastwood's character is briefly referred to as “Joe.” It was only in 1967, after United Artists released the film in the United States as A Fistful of Dollars, that the moniker “The Man with No Name” became popular. Dredd's first name is also Joe. See Kitses, 251.

35 Jarman and Acton, 28.

36 Wood, John, “Hell's Angels and the Illusion of the Counterculture,Journal of Popular Culture, 37, 2 (2003), 336–51, 348.

37 Quoted in John Wood, 338. At first glance, the comparison between Dredd and the Hell's Angels seems contradictory: Dredd is, after all, a lawman, and the Angels built their reputation on law-breaking. They initially had connections with the 1960s counterculture: they took drugs and seemed to be antiauthoritarian. However, if the Angels had any kind of political outlook it was undeniably conservative. They supported the war in Vietnam, for example, even offering their services in the fight. They also attacked an antiwar march in Berkeley, California in 1966. Despite harassment by law-enforcement agencies, Sonny Barger, head of the Oakland Angels, refused the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union because he believed the organization had communist sympathies (Thompson, Hell's Angels, 70). Journalist Hunter S. Thompson has argued that the Angels and the police had quite a lot in common. He states, “They operate on the same emotional frequency … Apart they curse each other savagely, and the brittle truce is often jangled by high-speed chases and brief, violent clashes that rarely make the papers. Yet behind the sound and the fury, they are both playing the same game, and usually by the same rules” (Thompson, 44). Indeed, in the late 1960s it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the forces of law and order and those opposed to those very principles. During the infamous Chicago “police riot” of 1968, journalist Philip Caputo recalls “a band of militants, wearing motorcycle helmets and armed with baseball bats” vandalizing his car because they thought it was the sheriff's. A few moments later a passing police officer, dressed much the same as the rioters, smashed Caputo's windshield after noticing a press pass on the dashboard. Philip Caputo, 13 Seconds: A Look back at the Kent State Shootings (New York: Chamberlain Bros., 2005), 11.

38 Laderman, David, “What a Trip: The Road Film and American Culture,Journal of Film and Video, 48, 1–2 (1996), 4157, 48.

39 Timothy Corrigan, A Cinema without Walls: Movies and Culture after Vietnam (London: Routledge, 1991), 147.

40 Kitses, 83–84. David B. Davis argues that the cowboy's horse “is what separates him from vagabondage and migratory labor. It is his link with the cavalier and plumed knight.” Davis, David B., “Ten-Gallon Hero,American Quarterly, 6, 2 (1954), 111–25, 121. In much the same way, Dredd's motorcycle distinguishes him from the mundane law-enforcement duties of the lowly beat cop.

41 Dredd lives in an apartment block called Rowdy Yates Conapt. See 2000AD 5, 26 March 1977.

42 Berner, Robert, “Old Gunfighters, New Cops,Western American Literature, 21, 2 (1986), 131–34, 132.

43 Matherly, Walter J., “The Changing Culture of the City,Social Forces, 13, 3 (1935), 349–57, 354.

44 Quoted in ibid., 354. Some historians have argued that prohibition (1920–33) was rural America's revenge on the big city: “Prohibition permitted the Protestant countryside to coerce the newer Americans in the city.” Samuel Eliot Morison, Henry Steele Commager and William E. Leuchtenberg, A Concise History of the American Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 591.

45 See, for example, D'Orso, Michael, “Man out of Time: Kerouac, Spengler, and the ‘Faustian Soul’,” Studies in American Fiction, 11, 1 (1983), 1930.

46 Kerouac, On the Road, 107.

47 Eric Lichtenfeld, Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie (Westport, CT and London: Praeger, 2004), 25.

48 Kitses, 259.

49 Many critics have noted this recurring theme in Eastwood's oeuvre. Charles T. Gregory observes, for example, that Eastwood characters in Coogan's Bluff (1968) and Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) are “violent, alienated social outcasts.” Charles T. Gregory, “The Pod Society versus the Rugged Individualists,” Journal of Popular Film (Winter 1972), 2–14, 4. Richard Combs concludes, “Martyrdom to his job is one way to describe Harry's curse.” Richard Combs, “8 Degrees of Separation,” Film Comment, July–Aug. 2002, 50–53, 53.

50 Sparks, Richard, “Masculinity and Heroism in the Hollywood ‘Blockbuster’,British Journal of Criminology, 36, 3 (1996), 348–60, 353; original emphasis.

51 Gregory, 4. This is also a main feature of Eastwood's Dollars trilogy – A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – where, Kitses notes (257), “the absence of women, law, religion and culture make for a wilderness where savagery and greed can flower.”

52 Combs, 52.

53 Matthew T. Althouse, “Kevlar Armor, Heat-Seeking Bullets, and Social Order: A Mythological Reading of Judge Dredd,” in Matthew P. McAllister, Edward H. Sewell Jr. and Ian Gordon, eds., Comics and Ideology (New York: Peter Lang, 2001), 195–219, 199.

54 For the sake of convenience, I am using a collected edition of the story, entitled Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth (London: Titan, 2002). The four banned chapters are not included in this edition. All further references to the story are from this source, unless mentioned otherwise.

55 Kitses, 289.

56 Shari Roberts argues that character development is what distinguishes the genre of road cinema from other films that merely feature a journey of some sort. Roberts states, “The road as theme may appear in any film, regardless of historical context, whereas, in the road film genre, the metaphor of the road becomes the main structuring device through … interdependence of the physical and spiritual journeys.” Shari Roberts, “Western Meets Eastwood: Gender and Gender on the Road,” in Cohan and Hark, The Road Movie Book, 53.

57 Laderman, “What a Trip,” 43.

58 Michael Atkinson, “Crossing Frontiers,” Sight and Sound, Jan. 1994, 14–17, 16.

59 Tim Cresswell, On the Move: Mobility on the Modern Western World (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), 8.

60 Althouse, 195.

61 Barker and Brooks, “Waiting For Dredd,” 17.

62 Althouse, 213.

63 Anthony Pagden, Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, from Antiquity to the Present (London: Phoenix Press, 2002), 5.

64 Cresswell, 11.

65 Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, 1492–present (London: Pearson Longman, 2003), 31.

66 Althouse, 207.

67 These companies threatened legal action claiming trademark and copyright infringement. IPC subsequently decided never to reprint any of these stories. See Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, intro.

68 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, Judge Dredd, 85.

69 Pat Brereton has identified a number of “iconic, elemental symbols” of the western, such as “the sheriff's badge, to dramatise the ‘need’ for law and order,” a “hanging tree to symbolise the ultimate deterrent,” and a barbershop “to wash away the (symbolic) ‘impurity’ of outside nature.” Pat Brereton, Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Contemporary American Cinema (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2005), 93. The Cursed Earth features all of these scenes, which demonstrates once again the influence of the frontier on road stories. Brereton argues (91) that movement and travel “remain a central preoccupation of American culture” and concludes that the road movie is simply an “extension” of the western. Frank Gruber points to seven basic western storylines and elements of at least four of these appear in The Cursed Earth. See Cawelti, The Six-Gun Mystique, 61–62.

70 George Ritzer, interview, 10 Nov. 2007, available at

71 These stories are “Midnight Surfer,” by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy, in 2000AD 424–29, 1986; “Oz,” by John Wagner and Alan Grant, in 2000AD 545–70, 1987; “Soul on Fire,” by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil, in 2000AD 594–97, 1988; and “Song of the Surfer,” by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil, in 2000AD 654–65, 1989. In the six-part story “Earth, Wind and Fire,” by Garth Ennis and John McCrea, in Judge Dredd Megazine (sic) 1, 1 June 1990, Dredd does not appear at all.

72 In “Unamerican Graffiti” Chopper faces competition from “The Phantom,” a rebellious and elusive graffiti artist. When the two eventually meet, Chopper is shocked to discover that his fellow traveller is a robot, so disillusioned with its mundane life that it turned to the petty crime of graffiti for excitement. The message here is clear: lawmen like Dredd demand passivity and obedience from the citizenry. Citizens must be as uncomplaining as the robots that have made so many of them unemployed. The word “robot” derives, after all, from the Czech word robota, meaning “labour” or “drudgery.” But in Mega-City One even robots get bored, and the Phantom chooses death rather than be captured by Dredd. The irony of this is that if Ritzer is correct, both MacDonalds and Dredd want the same thing, as Ritzer states, “to turn humans into human robots.” George Ritzer interview.

73 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 86.

74 The Art of Mike McMahon, 10 Nov. 2007, available at

75 Primeau, Romance of the Road, 10.

76 In Chapter 4, “King Rat,” Spikes compares himself to “one of dem [sic] twentieth century punk rockers.”

77 Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden (London, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), 13–16.

78 Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Northampton, MA: Tundra Press, 1993).

79 Sargeant and Watson, Lost Highways, 14.

80 In Chapter 5, “The Mutie Mountains” and Chapter 3, “The Devil's Lapdogs.”

81 Primeau, 7.

82 Corrigan, A Cinema without Walls, 144.

83 See “The Judge Dredd Story” and “The First Dredd,” in Judge Dredd Annual (London: Fleetway, 1981).

84 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, Judge Dredd, 81.

85 Quoted in ibid., 86.

86 Paul Auster, Moon Palace (New York: Penguin, 1989), 52. Transformation can take many forms: Thelma and Louise switch from being house-bound, unhappy women to free-spirited, liberated outlaws. In experiencing the freedom to make their own choices, they achieve a transcendent state of awareness and fulfilment, which, somewhat paradoxically, results in an unspoken suicide pact. By the end of Rain Man (1988) the obnoxious, arrogant and materialistic car salesman Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is a mellower, more compassionate figure, due to prolonged close contact on the road with his autistic brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman).

87 In On the Road, for example, Sal does not find the answers he looks for in California and cannot settle down with Terry despite professing his love for her. Mexico initially seems to be a haven: he states, “we had finally found that magical land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.” However, he returns to the United States only a few days later. “[A] little further”, he states, “it never ends.” Kerouac, On the Road, 276 and 243).

88 Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (New York: Vintage, 1999), 277.

89 Ibid., 281.

90 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 81.

91 See Chapter 9: “The Slay-Riders!” and Chapters 16 and 17, “Tweak's Story.”

92 In attempting to explain the enduring popularity of the iconic cowboy in post-Second World War popular culture, David B. Davis concludes that “the cowboy hero is the hero of the pre-adolescent” boy. Not only is pre-adolescence “the stage of revolt against femininity and feminine standards” (Davis, “Ten-Gallon Hero,” 119), but also the time when worries about “physical prowess” are evident. According to Davis, identifying with the heroic cowboy empowers boys and allows them to vicariously triumph over “fear, doubt, and insecurity, in short … evil” (ibid., 123). Such wish fulfilment is a familiar theme of the superhero genre, which is attractive to young boys because the classic hero transforms from an everyday person into a powerful, noble being whose purpose in life is to fight evil (for example, Clark Kent/Superman, Peter Parker/Spiderman or Bruce Banner/Hulk). While having no special powers as such, Dredd nevertheless has many of the qualities of the superhero, including the ability to tolerate comic book levels of physical punishment and, of course, his ultimate triumph over evil.

93 Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943).

94 Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, American Negro Slavery (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966), 117, 343 and 292.

95 Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (New York: Knopf, 1956).

96 Stanley M. Elkins, Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), 82.

97 Aptheker, 141.

98 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 85.

99 Marx, The Machine in the Garden, 43.

100 Nash, Roderick, “The American Wilderness in Historical Perspective,Forest History, 6, 4 (1963), 213, 3.

101 Hugo, Chris, “Easy Rider and Hollywood in the '70s,Movie, 32 (1986), 6771, 69. Situating the story in a postapocalyptic landscape serves a number of purposes, perhaps the most important being the re-creation of the danger and excitement of the American frontier experience. That the imagery here is both apocalyptic and Edenic reflects the predominant competing notions of the American historical experience: was the New World a howling wilderness populated by beasts or a location where the righteous could start anew? A connecting theme between both views is that of judgement and atonement. The Puritans believed that America was a land set aside for them by God, and that the Indians who died in their thousands from newly introduced European diseases were sinners who had been judged by God as unworthy. For instance, when a smallpox epidemic devastated the Pequots in 1634, the governor of Plymouth colony, William Bradford, crowed, “by the marvelous goodness and providence of God, not one of the English was so much as sick or in the least measure tainted with this disease.” William Roger Louis, Nicholas Canny, P. J. Marshall and Judith M. Brown, The Oxford History of the British Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 341. The counterpoint to the Eden narrative is, of course, the belief in a biblical Apocalypse, where only the chosen will be saved from destruction. In some respects, 2000AD is a cultural product of these Western mythologies: its title reflected a millennarian belief that great changes were ahead, and some of its most popular stories were apocalyptic in nature, for example the aforementioned “Invasion.” In Dredd's world, the Cursed Earth is large enough and vague enough to encompass both narratives: those that remained healthy after the apocalypse – the “saved” – are given protection within the walls of Mega-City One. In contrast, the mutated survivors – the “damned” – are exiled to the Cursed Earth to fend for themselves. Their fate is in the hands of people like Dredd; he stands over them in judgment and exercises god-like power over whether they live or die. However, towards the end of Dredd's journey, there are evocations of the Edenic garden metaphor, which reflects both the traditional American narrative of “starting over” and the tendency of road stories to offer a contrast between sinful cities and the supposed freedom and purity of rural America.

102 Phil Patton, Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986), 229–45.

103 Primeau, Romance of the Road, 8.

104 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 84.

105 Like his infamous namesake, Abraham Lincoln's assassin, President Booth betrayed the republic, which was, in Dredd's world, quite literally man's “last, best hope” of survival in the postapocalyptic world.

106 Ezquerra claims that the look of the character pre-dated punk. See Jarman and Acton, 23. It is also possible that the character's look was influenced by the 1973 road movie Electra Glide in Blue.

107 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 83.

108 For example, in the road movie Rain Man, scriptwriter Barry Morrow needed a reason why the characters would have to drive across America rather than fly. Morrow decided that Raymond Babbit, an autistic savant, would be afraid of flying. In Rain Man, this plot device is plausible. In The Cursed Earth story, however, little attempt is made to explain why the protagonists do not fly either all or most of the way to Mega-City Two. We are told that the “spaceports” are under the control of plague-infected crazies and that there is a “Death Belt” of debris in the atmosphere that somehow prevents flying in most areas of the Cursed Earth (“Forbidden Fruit”). Obviously the journey could have been considerably shortened if the rescue team had simply flown to the gates of Mega-City Two instead of travelling four thousand miles across a hostile wilderness.

109 Quoted in Jarman and Acton, 80.

110 Nash Smith, Henry, “Can American Studies Develop a Method?”, American Quarterly, 9 (1957), 197208.idem, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1950).

111 Kuklick, Bruce, “Myth and Symbol in American Studies,American Quarterly, 24 (1972), 435450, 443.

112 Corrigan, A Cinema without Walls, 143.

113 For a recent examination of the relationship between Britain and the United States see Christopher Hitchens, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship (New York: Nation Books, 2004).

114 David Ketterer, “The Apocalyptic Imagination, Science Fiction, and American Literature,” in Mark Rose, ed., Science Fiction: A Collection Of Critical Essays (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976), 148.

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