Reviewing Zane Grey’s Classic’ Riders of the Purple Sage’

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I must confess that two things which I have loved are t western films and books of that turbulent period referred to as the ‘wild west’ in American history of the 19th century. This was a period that created legends of its own in the shape of Doc Holiday, Billy the Kid and a host of other characters.

One writer who brought that period alive was Zane Grey. This man has many distinctions. He was the first millionaire writer and his popularity can be gauged from the fact that 34 of his books were published posthumously.

I have read at least 25 of his books, but the book that has made the most profound impression on me is his ‘Riders of the Purple sage’. This novel is written in a racy style and once one starts reading one can’t put it down.

‘Riders of the Purple Sage, ‘is a book that more than any other novel of the Wild West has contributed to making the legend of the Wild West come alive. Just for information the period of the Wild West refers to the period after the American civil war

The book has all the ingredients of a pot boiler with a gunfighter in a black dress, an outlaw boss and a lovely frontier woman torn between love and law. Zane Grey brings these figures alive. This novel of Zane grey is just not a western, but a novel that brings to the fore the deepest emotions of the human heart like love, honor and bravery

The plot runs something like this. There is a young and beautiful girl named Jane Withersteen, who inherits a ranch on the death of her father. The sad part is that the ranch is located in Cottonwoods which is an area dominated by the Mormons.

The Mormons were an offshoot of Christian faith and had some Bizarre customs and rituals that included multiple marriages in the same clan. The story is set in Utah in 1871 when the area was not properly policed.

There is a small rivulet called Amber spring that runs through her property and this is coveted by the Mormon Church. This rivulet supplies all the water to the settlement of the Mormons

The Mormons elders land on the ranch and wish to force Jane to marry another Mormon named Elder Tull. She refuses and the Mormons led by Elder Tull enter her ranch and arrest her foreman. They plan to whip him. A helpless Jane prays to Jesus for deliverance and lo and behold a rider in black appears. He is Lassitor, who is after the Mormons who have abducted his sister.

Zane Grey has created a most masculine and lovable character in Lassitier. A man who is quick on the draw and can fire guns like greased lightning. He is the archetype of the mythical Western gun fighter

The later novelists, who made a name for themselves, based their characters on Lassitor, Zane Grey’s creation. Jane hires Lassitor and she falls in love with him. Zane Grey made his heroines virtuous and lovely and the hero’s masculine, strong and good lovers. Needless to say Lassitor cleans up the murky Mormon dominated settlement and marries Jane

This is one of the finest books of Zane grey. He is still very popular in the States. He is a master story teller who brings the Wild West alive. It is also one of his best sellers and sold millions of copies. The best part is his prose that is simple and direct. He knows how to relate a story.

I have read this book thrice and every time and I have marveled at its grip on the reader. I think it is as a classic of American frontier fiction, colorful and authentic. It caters to the dream of an average man of a beautiful heroine and a strong man. Certainly Zane Grey has carved a niche of his own. Last but not the least Zane Grey has a clientele in India as well.

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High Heels – Your Best Friend

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Have you ever saw an American movie called “In Her Shoes”?

Rose and Maggie (performed by Cameron Diaz) are sisters who claim to have nothing in common but DNA, a tragic childhood, and a shared shoe size. Rose owns an attorney position, a conservative personality, and a secret passion for romance. She is sophisticated with work but timid to her plain figure and appearance. Therefore, Rose stores a full wardrobe of high heels without enough courage to wear them out and show them off. Maggie, the little one who is absolutely reverse version of her sister, features drop-dead gorgeous, loafer, flirtation, and troublemaker. She left home without farewell after being caught at the scene when she was carrying on a clandestine love affair with Rose’s boyfriend. In terms of women, the climax comes as Rose gives up her admirable job to then bravely wears the high heels she likes to hide into wardrobe. She successfully goes through a change of outlook on her relationship with Maggie-her   unique  sister, the man she has wrongly loved and the man she should love and treasure at present. Everything can start from “head”, as well as “foot”, not just curing the sequela of losing love.

“When I feel bad, I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good. Foods just make me fatter. Shoes always fit.” The lines, from Rose, reveal her secret: she is not the prude that she looks like in appearance, but a lovely girl who is keenly obsessed with various high heels as well. Numberless pairs of housed high heels are her bosom friend, listening to her success, happiness sharing her upset and cheering her up when she is in low spirit. Even though Rose just buy them then hide them without debut with them, she still be companied and placated by their sweetness and attention.

Men may leave and love may be pulled away, but high heels will always stay.

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Philippine Culture Uniquely Distinct From the Rest of the World

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The Philippine culture defines the unique distinctiveness of Filipinos from the rest of the world. Its richness in culture makes it highly different and more prominent from other countries. The Philippines have diverse cultural heritage, arts, traditions and spoken languages. The country has innumerable museums that take account to the wide historical and cultural evolution of its nation with churches, museums and galleries available throughout the Philippine Islands and are found in the different key cities of its provinces.

Each province has its own cultural folk dances showcasing the elegant styles of Filipino dances and the beauty of its people. They also follow their own unique traditions and have a way of celebrating their cultural practices through fiestas and events. The Filipinos naturally love arts and they can depict certain historical events through paintings, poems, songs and writings.

Historical Influence to the Philippine Culture

The culture of the Philippines is highly influenced by history and the blending of foreign influences and its indigenous civilization. The Philippines has been colonized by Spain for over three centuries. Hispanic influences are dominant in the Philippine’s folk music, foods, art, religion, language and folk dances.

The Malayo-Polynesian has influences to the Philippines during its pre-Hispanic and non-Christian era. It influenced the country’s mythology and indigenous culture along with the Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamic and Christianity traditions.

The United States also has an influence to the Philippine culture signified by the love of the Filipinos to contemporary pop music, film, basketball, music and fast foods. The Chinese and Japanese introduced martial arts, mahjong and other gambling forms. They also influenced the people’s natural preference to Asian cuisines.

The Philippine Cultural Heritage

The culture of the Philippine is diverse. About 90% of the Filipinos are Christians and 5% are Muslims. The rest practice other religions and others do not seem to have any religion at all. Despite the westernization of the country and foreign influences, many of its people remain to believe in superstitions. This cultural belief came from their ancient ancestors.

The country has beautiful traditional folk dances that showcase the elegance, beauty and grace of the Filipinos. They use flaunting Filipino dress and play Filipino music. The dances showcase the Filipino culture.

The Philippines is also a land of artists. Filipino artists are renowned in the world in the fields of music and art. They are highly respectable in these fields and brought honor and glory to their country. The Filipino people are great optimists. They always see light in the midst of darkness and always keep a positive point of view. This makes them endure the various challenges that arise in the economic, political, socio-cultural, religious and other aspects of their way of life.

There are several dialects that Filipinos can speak. They rank high as the country with most dialects spoken. The country has the most traditions to follow which continues to prevail despite its westernization. Most of these traditions are handed down in generations and continue to be practiced by majority of the Filipinos.

The diverse cultures and traditions in the Philippines make the country shine throughout the world. It has solicited fame and uniqueness to the country and its people. There is no wonder that the Filipinos are known for their warm hospitality and innumerable cultural traditions and heritage. The blend of foreign and ancient influences in Philippine culture makes the country uniquely distinct from the rest of the world.

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