The Searchers can be classified as a classical western film. The movie is a classical Hollywood cinema because of its history and setting. Several romantic scenes are portrayed in the movie. Even though it is not stated, Ethan Edwards was secretly in love with his brother’s wife, Martha Edwards. Her positive reception towards Ethan also indicated that she was also in love with him. After the death of his sister-in-law, Ethan’s love shifted to Debbie because of her resemblance to Martha. Another romantic scene depicted in the movie is the love that existed between Martin and Laurie. Even though Laurie was almost married to Charlie McCorry, she was eventually reunited with Martin. The character of Ethan Edwards introduces the movie’s wild western genre.
The film, produced during the second half of the 19th century, depicted the contemporary setting of the old western states. Heroes depicted in Old West films were portrayed as outlaws who were committed towards achieving their goals despite the circumstances. Ethan Edward is presented with a Wild West style of hero. His quest for vengeance is solely driven by his hatred towards the Comanche and committed several atrocities in his mission. His intolerance towards the Indians was so significant that he killed buffaloes with the aim if denying the Comanche food. Furthermore, he was willing to kill his own niece who had decided to be a Comanche.
Ethan Edwards is a conventional western hero. His hatred for Indian Comanche fuels his obsession and vengeance. The Comanche committed several atrocities against his family. His hatred towards the Comanche began when they killed his mother. Later on, his brother, sister-in-law, eldest niece and nephew were killed by the Comanche during a cattle raid. Furthermore, the Indians abducted his young niece Debbie Edwards. In the company of other men, Ethan headed out on a search for his niece. Up to a certain point in the movie, Ethan can be considered a hero because he was determined to rescue his niece from the Comanche. However, his hatred for the Indians deluded his aspiration to rescue his niece once he found out that she had decided to be part of the community that killed her family members.
Debbie was already married to Scar who was the chief of the Nawyecka Comanche. She told Ethan and Martin to leave without her because she had become part of the community. Ethan attempted to kill the same person he was determined to rescue. He would rather see her dead than let her live as a Comanche. However, Martin shielded his stepsister, Debbie, and was strongly opposed to Ethan’s actions. The two fled after they were ambushed by the Comanche. Much later, they attacked a Comanche’s camp to rescue Debbie and kill Scar. His heroic character is once again seen when he decided not to kill Debbie. After Scar’s death, Ethan took Debbie home to reunite with her family members.
The main reason why Ethan decided to leave the town was that he chose to live in solitude. After the civil war, he disappeared for three years without informing anybody of his whereabouts. Furthermore, Ethan was a fugitive because of his unlawful practices. Though it is not clearly stated, this can be seen when Clayton asked him if he is a fugitive after his refused to take an oath to be deputized by his elder brother.