Sam Shepard Writing Styles in True West

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Shepard's story of two brothers contending for superiority as screenwriters begins in a realistic style, a style that Shepard rejected in the early phase of his playwrighting career. The realistic style as a conscious literary movement began in the 19th century as a reaction to romantic melodramas. These melodramas were an approach to story telling that offered outlandish situations, characters, and dialogue in the hopes of thrilling and entertaining an audience (and at the expense of presenting believable works of fiction). Mark Twain's essay, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses (1895)," is a classic example of the outraged response that realists had to this exaggerated form of storytelling.

As realism gained wider acceptance among readers and critics, however, it became evident that this form also had artistic limitations. Not the least of these limitations is presenting a reader or audience with characters and situations that bear little difference to those that...

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This section contains 1,051 words
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True West from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.