True West Essay

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In this essay, Hoeper outlines the parallels between Shepard's True West and the biblical parable of Cain and Abel, comparing the two tales of sibling rivalry.

"Myth speaks to everything at once, especially the emotions," writes Sam Shepard (American Dreams-The Imagination of Sam Shepard, edited by Bonnie Maranca, [New York], 1981). Acting on this indirect authorial invitation, critics have understandably devoted much attention to the mythic elements in Shepard's work. Most notably, Tucker Orbison has exposed three levels of mythic response in True West: the mythic West of the cowboy; the mythic "mystery of the artist" in which the writer delves into the self to explore archetypal conflicts "fraught with the terrors of nightdreaming"; and finally the mythic conflict of the doppelganger, the "second self," as revealed in the role reversal of Lee and Austin at the play's crisis.

Important as these three levels of mythic response are, the...

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This section contains 2,804 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the True West Study Guide
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True West from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.