From the Literature of the American West (L.A.W.) and frontier, early settlers struggled against a hostile landscape to create homes for themselves. The settlers could make themselves into whatever they wanted to be. Some thinkers give credit to the struggles for the settlers becoming pioneers. There were ideas like self-reliance, individualism, regeneration, and democracy that were closely associated with the mythical place of American West. These ideas portrayed a young America as a place where one’s future and destiny was entirely a matter of what one was willing to make. The ideas and clichés associated with the American West Literature are closely linked to human identity construction in the 21st century.
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Today, we have boundary-crossing individuals, who change organization frequently. The studies and knowledge of how identities are constructed are crucial in helping us understand the complexity of human identity phenomenon. Life episodes, occurrences, and experiences are influential in shaping identity construction. Ideas like self-reliance, individualism, regeneration, and democracy from L.A.W are still linked to resulting in a distinctive character that belongs to individuals of the 21st century life.
The play True West is a masterpiece of art that is inspired by American life myths and popular culture. The plot that is about the sibling rivalry between two estranged brothers helps us study and understand more about human identity construction. The play is a character study that examines the relationship between Austin and his brother Lee. True West talks about the brothers general qualities and how a conflict between them creates a heated situation in which their roles and characters are reversed. Each man ends up admitting that he had always wished he were in the other’s shoes.
The play portrays Austin as an ambitious screenwriter who had a family, a house and lived a decent life. He does research for the screenplay he is writing, and this shows some level of art in him. His personality is straightforward. He provides his family with everything needed and engages in screenplay writing as a style of life and a source of money. He is a responsible man as portrayed by his mother leaving him to house-sit as she goes on vacation to Alaska. He also attributes a sense of humbleness and humility when he thinks of himself as of an ordinary laborer trying to make ends meet but not as of an “artist” with some level of art as his screenplay suggests. Lee can be viewed as a good representative of the old west as portrayed in the True West. He lives a carefree life as a thief, a drunkard and someone who has characters prone to violence. His life in the desert has made him combative in most situations. He makes Austin’s life a challenge since he is nagging. He drives around the neighborhood in Austin’s car checking out on the houses to rob.
Out of the interaction with his brother, Austin’s character starts transforming slowly. Austin becomes more and more like Lee after a failure in his movie deal, and the two brothers eventually switch their roles. Austin stops being a hardworking screenwriter and becomes a drunken thief. He also becomes a badger to his brother. He depicts an act of violence when he strangles Lee with a phone cord. Lee becomes interested in Austin’s work of writing screenplay and it acts as a factor to his change of character. He uses his con-man tactics to take over Austin’s screenplay career, and it forces the brothers to cooperate in creating a story. Lee proceeds to typewriting during the night in the kitchen in a bid to be more and more as his brother.
In the beginning of True West, Austin refers to his resident as “down here” which references Los Angeles. Life is decent as Austin has a family, a house, a car and writes screenplays. Lee’s life in the old west makes him become combative and portray characters prone to violence. The title True West depicts ideas that give a taste of what it feels like to be two-sided. This is a double nature, which is a real thing, and the split is a devastating way than the psychology can ever reveal. The change of character is a result of the environment. An outstanding example is in the making of pioneers from the struggles in settling in the old west from the Literature of American West. He characters of Austin and Lee shifted due to the change in their environment. The shift in character results in an achievement of some kind. The brothers’ artistic efforts as individuals had been unfruitful, but together they seemed unstoppable. Lee was able to become a screenplay writer just as Austin. True West succeeds in bringing out the traits and forces that shape character, which is closely linked to identity construction.
In the conclusion of the drama True West, mom’s arrival tells the reader how much things have gotten out of control. The two brothers get busted by their unexpected mom’s arrival. In the act of chivalry, they try to help with the suitcase as well as asking about mom’s trip. Their shift in character has caused a positive impact on their lives as well as resulted in the kitchen’s destruction. This chaos and misunderstandings are unfamiliar and unwanted in the suburbs. In comparison with the ending of Unforgiven, the supposed lousy Clint’s (as Munny) character remains unseen until the end. His character seems to take a shift from that of a cold-blooded murderer to serene person, and the viewer could now confuse him for a kindly old man. The change in Clint’s character takes care of some business that needs to be done in executing two gunmen. The shift in character of Clint enabled him to get the reward of $1000 after he accomplished the task. He was able to get the award since he shifted his character back to that of a murderer.
True West comes into a calm conclusion where Austin tries to get unconscious Lee back to life after the phone cord strangles. In the Unforgiven final scene, it gets rumored that Clint (as Munny) and his family move to San Francisco where they start a happy life.