Symbolism Like No Other Play Essay

Symbolism Like No Other Play Essay

Length: 1037 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“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 are not portrayed as resting areas or places to reside, but as places where people store their belongings. He recognizes houses as means to get by in his life. Next, when Austin asks Lee if he would like to “sleep for a while,” Lee responds by saying “I don’t sleep.” Sleep in this scene also doesn’t symbolize resting or recovering, but it seeks to portray rationality. Sleep symbolizes using purpose and clarity to act sensibly. In this scene, since Lee is under the influence of alcohol and acts rather aggressively, Austin feels its best for Lee to “sleep for a while,” in order to restore his wisdom. However, Lee replies that he doesn’t sleep, thus symbolizing that his actions carry no significant justification nor understanding and such is his fate.
“When I’m eatin’ I’m home,” is another reference to houses by Lee. “Eating” symbolizes restoring nutrients in the body by consuming food and “home” represents a source for stealing other’s belongings. This dialogue reveals to the audience that Lee fu...


... middle of paper ...


...tantly bothers Austin in the first scene, he barges into the meeting of Austin and the director, Saul, and eventually breaks the news that Saul won’t be working on his play. Lee symbolizes the evil spirit in the play that haunts Austin and sidetracks him of his career and livelihood. The kitchen, in the last scene of the play, represents Lee successfully transforming the mother’s house into his own desert. The kitchen symbolized structure and order in the house; however, in the last scene the kitchen represents destruction and chaos, much like Lee’s “desert.” The “plants” which symbolized responsibility and life, as they were to be watered every day, are death and marks desolation. After Lee realized how disorganized the kitchen had become, he prepared to leave to his “desert” to find isolation and refuge. Such is his fate as he has no home and was always “adrift.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis of Symbolism between a Father and his Son in William Shakespeare’s Play

- During the course of his plays, Shakespeare uses symbolism to portray his life, time period and messages he wants to get across to the audience. For example, many individuals in his time were not fond of his work and his response is used in his plays in the form of symbolism. Furthermore, symbolism is used to enhance the meaning of what is essentially being described. Moreover, Shakespeare utilizes symbolism in Henry IV, Part 1 to foreshadow the play and to guarantee that the Prince of Wales will shine like the sun and start a new era and become the new king like he was destined to be....   [tags: Henry IV, shakespeare, symbolism]

Strong Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

Modernism: Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

- The art, literature, and poetry of the early 20th century called for a disruption of social values. Modernism became the vague term to describe the shift. The characteristics of the term Modernism, all seek to free the restricted human spirit. It had no trust in the moral conventions and codes of the past. One of the examples of modernism, that breaks the conventions and traditions of literature prior to Modernism, is Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants”. The short story uses plot, symbolism, setting, dialogue, and a new style of writing to allow human spirit to experiment with meaning and interpretation....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Strong Essays
1592 words (4.5 pages)

Symbolism and Realism Essay

- Symbolism and Realism Symbolism and Realism were distinct but parallel literary movements that swept Europe and much of the world in the late 19th century. Social order was one of the main concerns of Symbolists and Realists, which reflects the unprecedented growth of the middle class and its values across Europe during that time period. Morality and ambition were homogenized – and, in some cases, institutionalized – to a degree never before seen in civilized society, and many intellectuals and artists saw this homogenization as a conformist social force that threatened individual perspective....   [tags: Symbolism Realism Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Symbolism in The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn Essay

- Many novels have used symbolism to express certain feelings and emotions in discreet ways. What is symbolism. "The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships" (Dictionary.com). Numerous authors use the same denotations to illustrate different thoughts or ideas. Mark Twain uses various symbols, such as the river and the land to expose freedom and trouble in his novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn....   [tags: Literature Huck Finn Symbolism]

Strong Essays
1228 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Symbolism, Symbolism And Symbolism

- Chapters nineteen through twenty-two detail Christ’s final victory over sin. Over the course of the final chapters of Revelation, the process of Christ’s ultimate victory is detailed using an abundance of powerful images and symbolism. Some examples of symbols used are referring to Christ as “the Lamb,” and to His church as His “Bride.” Though symbols play an important part of these final chapters contained within Revelation, imagery is by far the most prevalent. At multiple points during Revelation imagery and symbolism are used in conjunction with each other, to complement and strengthen their respective ideas....   [tags: Jesus, Christian terms, New Testament, Symbol]

Strong Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Hills Like White Elephants, a Theme Analysis Essay

- Ernest Hemmingway uses time, place, and symbolism in "Hills like White Elephants" to intensify the central dilemma in a story about a man and a woman deciding on whether to go through with an abortion. Although a literal reading of the title may not seem to have any relation to the story, the title is rich in implications. Critics suggest that "Hills" refers to the shape of a woman's stomach when pregnant, and Webster's 21st Century Dictionary defines white elephant as: "[An] awkward, useless possession." The term is also defined in Webster's as an item that is worthless to some but priceless to others....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]

Strong Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Symbolism in the play Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen

- In his play “Ghosts';, Ibsen forces the reader to think about his own ideas and believes, as well as those of society and past ages. Symbolism is one technique repeatedly used to portray the author’s ideas through rain, light, fire, the orphanage, Oswald, and through Engstrand himself. The use of religion is also interesting in the way the town people and Pastor Mander uses it. There are many symbols present throughout Ibsen’s work. Rain is used as a symbol of the cleansing of evil and impurities....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

The Use of Symbolism to Foreshadow the Future in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson

- The Use of Symbolism to Foreshadow the Future in Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour and Toni Cade Bambara's The Lesson Often authors use signs to foreshadow events that will happen in the future in their stories. For example an author might write "As he was walking down the dark eerie path dark skies began to form" . Here the writer uses a usually negative sign to foreshadow a negative future. This is the most common way for authors to foreshadow in a story, but it isn't the only way. In some instances authors use symbols to foreshadow the future of a character....   [tags: Literature Compare Contrast Symbolism]

Strong Essays
1664 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Symbolism in Fences by August Wilson

- August Wilson uses the symbol of a 'fence' in his play, Fences, in numerous occasions. Three of the most important occasions fences are symbolized are by protection, Rose Maxson and Troy Maxson's relationship, and Troy against Mr. Death. Throughout the play, characters create 'fences' symbolically and physically to be protected or to protect. Examples such as Rose protecting herself from Troy and Troy protecting himself form Death. This play focuses on the symbol of a fence which helps readers receive a better understanding of these events....   [tags: Fences Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory]

Free Essays
1095 words (3.1 pages)

Symbolism Essay

- Symbolism In each of the three works Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, and “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar”, written by William Shakespeare all have a strong common characteristic. Keeping in mind each author came from different backgrounds and had very different motivations for writing each novel/play it’s ironic that in each story the main idea is redundant. Each of the three stories uses symbolism as a way to relate conflicts in the story to the conflicts in the real world....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)