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True West Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of True West.
This section contains 1,117 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Historical Context

The Persistence of Frontier Ideals in American Culture

The title of Shepard's play, True West, is significant in many ways but one clear reference is to the American frontier West as an ideal of masculine forcefulness and independence. Though cowboys and gunshngers have disappeared, the ideal of rough and ready men continues to persist in America. The characters of Austin and Lee are defined by their relation to the myth of the old West. Austin is a sophisticated city boy, an Ivy League egghead with little apparent aptitude for survival skills or physical force. Lee, on the other hand, is someone who can survive in the desert—who knows the land and can make things happen with his instinct and physical prowess He, for instance, knows the difference between urban and rural coyotes—"they don't yap like that on the desert. They howl. These are city...

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This section contains 1,117 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our True West Study Guide
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True West 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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