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Austin’s Character Development In “True West” Essay, Research Paper Lee to Austin, “I mean you never had any more on the ball than I did. But here you are gettin’ invited into prominent people’s houses. Sittin’ around talkin’ like you know somethin’?In fact I been inside some pretty classy places in my time. And I never even went to an Ivy League school either.” In the play “True West” Austin, the protagonist, is a kinetic character. In the beginning of the play he is depicted as being a prominent, upper class member of society, but throughout the play he devolves into an irrational, animalistic savage of a human being. In some ways he becomes just like his older brother Lee. After reading the character descriptions before actually reading the play,

the reader is led to believe that Austin is a traditionally dressed, “blue-collar” member of society. Lee on the other hand is described as being a grungy, grease-ball of a man, who doesn’t even take care of himself. These depictions are accurately proven in the first scene of the play. Austin is a hard-working author that is house sitting for his mother while she is out of town. This is seen when Lee says to Austin, “I’m not botherin’ you am I? I mean I don’t wanna’ break into yer’ uh-concentration or nothin’?I mean I realize that yer’ line a’ work demands a lota’ concentration.” Lee is the exact opposite; he is a short-tempered, unsuccessful “child”, who has amounted to nothing more than a petty thief. This is illustrated when Lee tells Austin,

“Yeah. Houses. Electric devices. Stuff like that. I gotta’ make a little tour first?What’sa’ matter with this neighborhood? This is a great neighborhood. Lush. Good class a’ people. Not many dogs?Nobody’s gonna’ know. All they know is somethin’s missing. That’s all. She’ll [mom] never even hear about it. Nobody’s gonna’ know.” At this point in the book Lee almost seems envious of Austin’s success in life. He makes snide remarks such as, “Yer not gonna’ have to worry about me! I’ve been doin’ all right without you. I haven’t been anywhere near you for five years! Now isn’t that true??So you don’t have to worry about me. I’m a free agent.” However, as the play progresses Austin seems to become more intrigued with Lee’s lifestyle, and

the reader begins to see a desire to be free from worries and responsibilities formulate within him. Austin begins to show more of an interest in his brother in scene 2. He tells Lee, “I don’t know. I wish I wasn’t-I wish I didn’t have to be doing business down here. I’d like to just spend some time with you.” Later the reader finds out that Austin feels more of an obligation to seem interested in his brother. Lee manipulates Austin into doing him favors such as loaning him his car and later into helping him write a story. This is seen when the brother’s become frustrated with each other, and Austin says to Lee, “You think you can force me to write this? I was doing you a favor.” Lee refutes, “Git off yer high horse will ya’! Favor! Big favor. Handin’ down

favors from the mountain top.” Later the reader finds out that both brothers are curious what it would be like to live each other’s lives. Lee says, “I always wondered what’d be like to be you. I used to picture you walkin’ around some campus with yer arms fulla’ books. Blondes chasin’ after ya’. Austin replies, “I always used to picture you somewhere. Different places. Adventures. 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?’” Here it seems as though Austin admires his brother for his lifestyle and is almost jealous of it. However, when he finds out that Lee convinced Saul, the producer, to promote his script and drop Austin’s project, he