Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Kathleen Conlin

Major

Theater

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

There is growing disconnect between individuals in America. In our politics, voters are divided on key issues and harbor animosity towards those with different viewpoints. Scholars trace this decline in the American community to the 1970s, a period of great social change. Writing during this time, the plays of Sam Shepard articulate a sense of disconnection between characters and the world that they live in. This disconnection often manifest themselves in the relationships between characters. Shepard uses images of America in his plays to highlight the disconnect that comes from American myth. This paper argues that the decline in American community is associated with the decline in the mythic structures of family and community. The plays of Sam Shepard highlight this connect and reflect the fear and anxiety of individuals at the time.

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