What really appears to be chasing Josey (Clint Eastwood, a casting coup) in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) is not the Union army, but the fear of domesticity, the fear of having to readmit himself to the humdrum world of family and farming.
Eastwood Out Of Water
Eastwood’s film extracts the dramatic tension pent-up in that now-too-legendary final shot of The Searchers (1956) and numerous other notable Westerns, including Shane (1953), and makes it the driving conflict of the narrative.
Scenes From A Household
The world that Josey leaves behind is one whose stakes are, in actuality, much higher than those of the world he eventually chooses. In the latter, he has nothing to lose but himself while in the other everything he loves is at stake. Josey’s predicament is hinged on the real life irony that (knowingly) embracing a conventional life requires a far greater courage than repudiating it.
A Cozy House Becomes A Makeshift Barracks
The Easy Way Out