Symbolism In 'True West'

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“True West” captures symbolism like no other play. After critically analyzing objects and actions used to symbolize ideas in the play, the play had more meaning to it and its literal one. One character that seems to feature a great deal of symbolism is Lee. The play starts off by identifying Lee as a 40-year-old man who is wearing a “filthy white t-shirt” with a “tattered brown overcoat” (Shepard). The age and clothing symbolizes how unorganized and unmannered Lee’s lifestyle was. Having a “filthy” t-shirt represents a laid back, poor personality such that would belong in a “desert.”
Lee seems to be interested in “houses.” When Lee reveals that his period of stay “depends mostly on houses,” he symbolizes houses as a means of income. Houses
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The symbolism present in this scene is of great irony. When Lee breaks the typewriter with the golf club, Lee symbolizes ending Austin’s career and his hopes of becoming a script writer. Since Lee did not find any purpose in the typewriter for himself, he made sure to make it useless for his brother as well. Austin even feels sorry for the machine by expressing his sympathy in the following words, “It’s a sin to do that to a good machine.” This phrase adds more symbolism to the scene by giving the typewriter religious aspects. Austin embraced his typewriter as a scared religion; however, Lee has forced him off the religious path by smashing his typewriter. Lee is portrayed as the devil in this scene who destroys Austin’s religion,…show more content…
He is seen calling “Melly Ferguson” for help when he is in need of help. This part of the play indicates woman as a source of reference for difficulties in life. Since woman were identified as care givers and house keepers in the Old West, men were the identified as bread winners (Underwood). In the same way, Lee takes the role of a man in the Old West and seeks a lady by the name of “Melly Ferguson.” When Lee calls the operator to inquire about “Melanie Ferguson” in “Baskerville,” the operator tells him that there are 10 different “Melanie Fergusons.” This part of the play symbolizes the amount of woman Lee has sought for in the past. This is not the first time Lee has called for a woman’s help and it may not be the last. Furthermore, when Lee asks for all 10 numbers of Melanie Fergusons, it represents that all woman seem the same to Lee. He has one goal when it comes with woman and that is to spend the “night” with

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