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Curse of the Starving Class Essay | Critical Essay #5

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Critical Essay #5

A basic concern of Shepard's characters is the struggle for individuation in the face of constraining family ties. This is a universal issue but in a family as bereft and isolated as the Tates, individuation is nearly impossible. Attempts to save the self are associated with fantasies of flight or escape that often end in destruction—alcoholism, selling the ranch, "zombie" cities, explosions. The family does not have a cohesive structure to assist its members in defining their identities. Even the names—Weston, Wesley, Emma, Ella—contribute to a lack of differentiation and an uncertainty as to who is who. Each person is struggling to make a mark and sometimes it is in competition with or at the expense of another.

In the Shepard play, Action, the main character describes the continuing struggle to be a separate self while yearning to be in a family...

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This section contains 304 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Curse of the Starving Class Study Guide
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Curse of the Starving Class from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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