True West Masculinity Analysis

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“What does it mean to be masculine?”; this question is one that every man has probably asked himself at some point in his life, and it is one that is very challenging to come up with a direct answer. Every man has a different way of figuring out how to be masculine. In today’s society boys are brought up to believe that they should be the one who provides for their families, and that they should be the protector. For some men, being masculine means having physical power and strength, for others it means being competitively and characteristically better than another. While all of these things may come into play when it comes to the of being masculine, one of the most important reasons that connects them all, is being in charge. This could mean…show more content…
In Scene 4, the brothers begin to fight about the movie script and Lee says, “Git off your high horse will ya'! Favor! Big favor. Handin’ down favors from the mountain top,” and “One of us has even got a Ivy League diploma.” (Shepard 24, 26). Through this we can assume that Lee feels beneath Austin. We could say that Lee sees Austin’s education and success as a way of him being more masculine than Lee himself. In Jeffry Hoeper’s literary criticism he says, “…Lee, the creature of the night, the desert, and the patriarchy, begs for Austin’s creative assistance.”, supporting the claim this claim about Lee (Hoeper 79). Similarly, we can say that Austin views Lees “cowboy” image as being more masculine when he says, “You were always on some adventure…And I used to say to myself, ‘Lee’s got the right idea. He’s out there in the world and here I am. What am I doing?’ ” (Shepard 28). To Austin, we can assume, masculinity comes from being a rugged individual more than just having book smarts and a good job. Jeffrey Hoeper includes in his literary criticism, “…misjudge the efforts of men, and set them at each others’ throats.”, which could serve as reference to how the brothers are always going back and forth arguing with each other, trying to pick on one another which creates the tension between them…show more content…
Lee and Austin are competitive, envious and influenced in the way that they view masculinity. They think that competing to be better than the other gives one authority over the other. They are envious of the masculinity that the other possesses and believe that the others life is more fulling. Finally, they are influenced by the life around them, and that has shaped their view on what it means to take charge, and to be masculine. I believe that the drama was able to provide us with perfect examples of how a man feeling masculine most definitely comes from their desire to be in charge of not only their life, but the life around them as

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