You know that feeling when your little brother drives you insane. If you don’t have a little brother, you have that friend who is great and everything, but can totally make you so angry. Now try to imagine that such relations continues for about 30 years and both individuals are a little bit crazy, and now imagine that they're stuck in a room with nothing other than booze, burnt toast, and the sound of yapping coyotes to occupy their time. That's the situation at hand in Sam Shepard's True West.
True West is about the sibling rivalry between two estranged brothers who have reconnected. Relations of Lee and Austin are not very good. Actually, they are awful. Austin is an ambitious man who wants very badly to finish his movie script and sell it. He is quite self-confident and knows what to do.
Their conflict develops during the play and becomes more and more bright creating difficult emotional situation. During the play, brothers change and each brother tries to absorb the part of the other brother's life which he feels might complete him. This is the key moment in which Sam Sheppard shows the intensity of sibling rivalry.
Austin and Lee envy each other, they're desperate to prove that they're just as good or strong as the other, and in a very real way, they want to be each other. Staying together, they have not talked to each other for some time, and Lee obviously resents Austin. Both brothers realize that they live two different lives, but Austin chooses to think that his way of life is the right one. Austin has got the house, the car, the wife, and the kids. At the same time, Lee is a thief who hasn't ever settled down into anything. During the first scene, brothers mainly talk about material possessions and money. Obviously, Austin is much more authoritative than Lee. Lee owns nothing at all. He is just a transient burglar. He has much to be jealous of in Austin. Lee does not feel that he is socially fit to live in a normal society.
Austin doesn’t consider his brother as equal person. Lees tries to defend himself from Austin. Finally, this leads to a fight between brothers in which Austin almost kills Lee.
So Sam Sheppard is still one of the most respected modern playwrights and True West is often considered one of his most important works. The author shows the dark side of people hat just might reside in all of us. While most of us can brush the darkness away, Shepard's characters can't.
You know that feeling when your little brother drives you insane. If you don’t have a little brother, you have that friend who is great and everything, but can totally make you so angry.