Meaning Perpetually Deferred: A Derridaean Study of Sam Shepard’s True West

Bita Darabi, Mehdi Sepehrmanesh


This article aims at reading Sam Shepard’s True West from deconstructive point of view. Derrida with coining the word “Differance”, consisting of the words to “defer” and to “differ”, disturbs the presence of meaning, contending that no stable meaning exists. Meaning is forever fallen into the trap of “differance”, causing the meaning to defer, that is, the signified is always deferred and we are just dealing with play of signifiers. Moreover, he believes that in each set of binary oppositions, the two sides of opposition not only add to each other but also take the place of each other and thus supplement each other. This is in fact what happens in True West. Characters’ identities have unstable nature. Each character changes their identity from one type of personality to another one, thus plunging themselves into finding floating identities. In addition, the characters supplement each other; they need each other to be completed, as two sides of opposition, without having priority over each other. Therefore, what fills the space of the play is the indeterminacy regarding Derrida’s ideas of supplement and “differance” propelling the characters into having unstable and changing identity.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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