Social Norms In True West

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Beyond Reasons In the twenty first century, humans have learned to adapt to certain social norms, which dictate what is acceptable in modern society. In the play True West by Sam Shepard and the short story “The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams, humans are portrayed to have an animalistic nature that can sometimes overtake their actions and override these social norms. Many have seen in their everyday lives how strong the human psyche, which involves both the conscious and unconscious mind, can be. For the most part, it is the unconscious mind that reflects the actual desires of a human being, and this was studied by one of the founding fathers of psychology, Sigmund Freud. No matter the type of person or circumstance, it has been…show more content…
Austin, an aspiring writer, is in the process of signing a deal with a producer for his latest piece, but Lee, who has not gone to college and has just spent three months in the desert, jumps in the middle and steals the spotlight. As the story progresses, the characters slowly begin to switch roles and see what each other’s lives are like. Austin eventually decides that he also wants to live in the desert, and when his brother Lee doesn’t let him, he snaps and begins choking him while saying, “I can kill him! I can easily kill him. Right now. Right here. All I gotta' do is just tighten up . . . I can just twist. I can just keep twisting” (62). Throughout the story, there have been countless amounts of times where Lee hit Austin and forced him to do things against his own will, and for the most part, Austin typically kept his cool and tried to work things out. There came a point where even Austin decided that it was time to draw the line, and he acted out of anger and completely unleashed his rage without realizing what he was doing. This very dark reaction we see from Austin reveals his inner most desires to just live freely and not worry about a job or…show more content…
Lee admits to striking fear in his brother to get he wants when he says, “You got no intention of showin' it to him. Yer just doin' this 'cause yer afraid a' me” (24). Here he is referring to the outline of his film that is to be presented to a producer named Saul. Lee himself cannot write the story, as he is not educated and can barely use a typewriter. A further look at the reading suggests that Lee’s innermost desire is to be successful like his brother Austin. Lee then follows to say, “Hey, do you actually think I chose to live out in the middle a' nowhere? Do ya'? Ya' think it's some kinda' philosophical decision I took or somethin? I'm livin' out there 'cause I can't make it here! And yer bitchin' to me about all yer success”(52)! Instead of politely asking his brother to help him, he forces his brother to write it for him because he feels that asking him in a polite manner would make him inferior to his brother. As a result they spend most of the night fighting and going in

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