This story is written in first person, most likely from a woman's perspective (Gretel's). The recurring theme throughout this essay is the way Gretel is trying to portray and un-stereotype type the stereotype of men ranchers. She has an inside perspective to share with the readers because she is from Wyoming and has had "inside" experience with male ranchers. She gives vivid details and imagery to show that there is more to a rancher than just being "tough and rough." She gives detail that there is another side, a gentle, nurturing side to the ranchers. For example she writes, "their strength is also a softness, their toughness, a rare delicacy." Although she is an insider to being a rancher and has seen ranchers first hand she can write about them with inside information, but she is also an outsider. She is a woman trying to write and explain ideas and key concepts about a male rancher. She is a woman and can not have insider knowledge of a males perspective. The key theme or word is cowboy. The whole essay deals with trying to explain the stereotypes that accompany of cowboy or rancher. Gretel is trying to show more than one side to a rancher, a side that is not obvious to an outsider or a person who does not know much about a cowboy. When someone says the word "cowboy" certain things come to mind, tough, rough, and a male who rides a horse. Gretel is trying to add more depth to the word. That a cowboy can be nurturing, and kind, even gentle at times. The key word of the essay is cowboy, but after reading the essay the word has been broadened and given more meaning!
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