Through the siblings’ understanding that “we’re the same person” and “just sorta’ echo each other,” Shepard illuminates that their clashing Apollonian and Dionysian personalities are not separate from each other but rather two halves of the same man, the same artist (39, 42).Unlike their parents, with Mom in cold Alaska and Dad in the sweltering desert, the brothers revolve harmoniously in a “ring of truth” (37).Austin rolls with intelligence, but “sits sprawled,” with the defeat of his own script and lack of creativity.
The two men “ridin’ straight” closely mirror the brothers themselves and their own“straight”diverged personalities, separate from one another, and by depicting the riders as not knowing “where the other one is taking him,” Shepard additionally parallels their frustrated cluelessness to the siblings’ discordant psyches and dissatisfactions.
Near the end, the brothers’ identities begin to fuse as one entity.
w=300" data-large-file="https://moosmosis.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/truewestwtf460g.jpg? w=460" class="alignnone wp-image-1053" src="https://moosmosis.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/truewestwtf460g.jpg" alt="truewestwtf460g" width="517" height="326" srcset="https://moosmosis.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/truewestwtf460460w, https://moosmosis.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/truewestwtf460g.jpg?
w=150&h=95 150w, https://moosmosis.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/truewestwtf460g.jpg? w=300&h=189 300w" sizes="(max-width: 517px) 100vw, 517px" / Shepard utilizes the brother’s foiling personalities and dissatisfactions as the play’s dominant sources of tension in order to portray the dissonance of an unbalanced psyche.
The very start of the play “True West,” Shepard visually describes each Austin and Lee as being visual opposites.
This sets the reader to view the characters at face value from the early start.
The true paradise that Lee discusses is neither the old West nor the new West but the blurred balance between the two, where order and rationality and chaos and creativity are fused together.
Thus, through the divergence and convergence of Austin and Lee, Shepard explores the fluid spectrum of identities: the consequences of an unbalance and the enhancements of a blurred balance.
Through the comical personality reversal, Shepard exemplifies the unhealthiness of a separation of passion and reason from one another.
Lee explodes with passion with his Western story, but “struggle[s]”with the absence of Austin’s diligence.