True West Historical Context

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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. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the True West Study Guide
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Drama for Students
True West from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.