What truths are referred to in the title of Sam Shepard's play True West?  

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sam Shepard's play True West is a play in a sense about the role of the west in popular culture. It is set in Los Angeles, a city that is associated with the false images Hollywood produces of the west. The coyotes outside suggest that geographically and historically Los Angeles is deeply connected with the "true west". The brothers' rival scripts, both western themed, both attempt to portray a filmic "true west"; Lee's script is preferred because it is seen by the producer as more authentically western. The suggestion is that Lee, an alcoholic thief is closer to a reality of the west than Austin, his more civilized brother (Note that the town of Austin is associated with the "new west"). The descent into drunkenness and the trashed house with the coyote as the final truths of the west with which Shepard leaves us.

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True West

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