Shepard, Sam - True West (Long-term assignment)

Sam Shepard, Referat, Hausaufgabe, Shepard, Sam - True West (Long-term assignment)
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Long-term assignment „True West“ (04 of November)

1. Analyze the relationship between the two brothers. How does it change in the course of the play?
At the begin Austin is the perfect son in the family, because he´s the husband, the writer and the success. Lee is the opposte of Austin. He´s a „thief“, the drifter and hasn´t got an aim. At the first scene Lee wants the keys of Austins car, because he wants to make a „little tour“ in the neighborhood of his mother and steal. Austin doesn´t want to give him the keys and he´s decent. After that they have a conversation about their life. Austin is very interested in Lees experience in the desert and their father, the „old man“. The relationship change it. Austin is angry of Lee, because Lee wants to sell his story. A conflict begins when Austin claims his carkeys from Lee. Lee says that he can call the police, but he doesn´t do that, because he is his own brother. It seems like a typical relationship between two brothers. The both are jealous of the lifestyle from the other. Lee is trying so hard to ruin Austins life. Austin cannot accept the fact that his beloved screenwriting-deal neight be taken away from him. The producer Saul tells Austin that both shall write together, but Austin doesn´t want to. His brother Lee is happy that he can work with his brother together. But Austin has worked hard and has a good education. There is a big difference between them. Then Austin is drunken and Lee tries to concentrate, because he writes the script. They discuss with each other. Austin wants to go in order to steal a toaster an bets. The roles are interchange. Austin is now the drunk and Lee is now the screenwriter. They make a deal and Austin will write the script. At the end Lee doesn´t like the script, because it is a cliché. He admits that he has enough from writing. He wants to go back to the desert. Therefore Austin is angry about this and gets the telephonecable and strangles him. The brothers have completely destroyed their mothers kitchen. Austin doesn´t want to kill Lee, but he wants to go to the desert.

2. Describe the different attitudes towards the West in scene 6 ( p. 37, l 17-38 ), scene 8 ( p. 50, l 5-51 ) What does the West symbolize? Explain.
In scene six Austin complains about Souls fascination of Lees western story. He says that is“phony as Hopalong Cassidy“, which means a cowboy in the old West was not the real person. He is against the idea of a western. But Saul has the opinion that it has the ring of truth. (It is based on a truth legend. )He thinks so, because the story is something about the land and Lee has got experience in the desert. In scene eight Austin talks about making fires and getting fresh water from condensation. It sounds like life in the desert, because they live there like in the past. (without electricity) Lee says that you learn something like that, because you have to learn it. That means people who live in the desert don´t have another choice, because they live in the nature. Therefore it is called „the wild West“. Austin wants to get teached bye Lee. But Lee doesn´t want that. He adds that Austin grew up in a modern milieu and went to school. He doesn´t have to learn how to live in the desert. Austin insists on going to the desert with Lee. Lee explains that he could live there, because he can´t make it in the city. Austin is the representative of the order created by the new West while Lee is the representative of the desert old West. . The desert is an important motif in the play, because it represents the promise of life outside the boundaries. It has an natural attraction for Austin and Lee. Going to the desert means following the American Dream and the false hope it represents.

3. Outline the connection between the play and American Dream.
In the play the desert is an important symbol. The desert is where the real West exists , the West as imagined by the American consciousness. The desert is where all the legends live and where all the mythic american stories they have written for themselves have been played out. But the desert also offers danger and chaos. The play have a big connection between the American Dream, because it shows that someone like Lee, who doesn´t have any job, no success and no aim can be successfull. In short time he become a sreenwriter. This is based on the American Dream, because anyone who is willing to work hard can „make it“. In the play the West is important, not the East , because it has to do with the relationship between the land and the people. Austin and Lee very often speaks about the desert and the natural life. Making fires, horses and hard life are symbols of the American Dream. The hope for unendless freedom, living in an environment have a wild attitude by Austin and Lee. They want to live like that.

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