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CroogJournalentry11 - descriptions that initially match the...

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Deana Croog Journal entry 4/15/10 English 200 Rachel Mordecai In reading Sam Shepard’s True West , I feel as though one must examine the implications and connotations of the phrase “True West”. In the play, there are numerous instances in which the characters are battling to distinguish the true from the false, or contrived (in terms of character, art, and even objects). The title of the place implicates that the reader must look out for instances in which the unreal or fake is attempting to mask itself as the truth. In the beginning of the play, for example, the stage directions assert numerous examples of pieces of costume and setting that seem either out of place or too forced. For example, Austin and Lee are both written as superficial stereotypes- Austin as a snobby prep (“light blue sports shirt, tennis shoes), and Lee as a no-good vagabond (“shoes scuffed up, two days growth of beard, bad teeth”) (Shepard, 2960). These stereotypical
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Unformatted text preview: descriptions that initially match the personalities of the characters, later is revealed to be a mask of the different personality underneath the superficial costume. Austin, for instance, irked and upset after having lost his movie contract, reverts into a persona much more like Lee, as Lee seems to switch places so quickly with Austin. Their quick role reversal seems to signal that they are both attempting to play a part, rather than be themselves. In addition, the fact that the plot is relying heavily on a movie pitch about the West, though Saul does not seem to care that the “true” west is revealed in the tentative film (his motives revolve around monetary success), the question of the importance of truth over entertainment, and reality over fantasy seem to be concepts that become more and more important in True West as the play continues....
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