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New Escapist Column! On “The Last of Us” As A Study of Evolving Masculinity…

I am doing weekly reviews of The Last of Us at The Escapist. They’ll be dropping every Sunday evening while the show is on, looking at the video game adaptation as the show progresses. This week, the show’s sixth episode.

The sixth episode of The Last of Us, Kin, is steeped in the iconography of the western: there’s a frontier town, two indigenous characters, and even a horse on the railroad tracks. However, there’s also a sense that Joel and Ellie have reached the end of their push westward, their journey from Boston to Jackson. In that sense then, the show explores the legacy of the western in American consciousness, particularly the genre’s archetypal portrayal of masculinity. What does it mean or Joel to be a man or a father? How does that reconcile with the image he has cast for himself as a cynical and weary outlaw? Can he move past that?

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.


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