One of the reasons for Shepard’s popularity as a playwright was that his unique blend of styles-using mythical American heroes, rock and roll music,
poetically unconventional language- and his ability to create vivid dreamlike images and symbols that set him apart from more traditional American
playwrights. He was also famous with his plays that won more than two Obie awards and the Pulitzer Prize of Drama; which ‘Curse of starving Class’ as one of
them. In drama ‘Curse of Starving Class’ Shepard used the symbol to make his
plays more realistic. The use of symbol in the play was symbolizing any kind of aspect of life in the family, love, relationship, choices, images, characters of
people. Based on the statements above, the writer here is trying to interpret the
drama, more specifically the use of symbol in drama ‘Curse of the Starving Class
.’ Therefore, the writer plans to do an analysis under the title: Symbolism in Sam Shepard’s drama “Curse of the Starving Class”
B. Focus of the Study
As it has been mentioned in the Background of Study, the writer would like to focus the discussion only to the use of symbols in ‘Curse of the Starving
Class’ and the meaning of symbols in the drama. This drama had been chosen by
the researcher because this drama contain symbol, the researcher was interesting to know the meaning of symbols in the drama.
C. Research Questions
The questions of the research are: 1.
What symbols does Sam Shepard utilize in his drama “Curse of the Starving Class’
2. What are the meanings of the utilized symbols in drama ‘Curse of the
Starving Class’ ?
D. The Objectives of the Research
The objectives of this research are: 1.
To know the utilized symbols in Sam Shepard drama Curse of the Starving Class.
2. To know the meaning of the utilized symbols in Sam Shepard drama
Curse of the Starving Class .
E. The Significances of the Research
With this existence of this research, the writer hopes that it will be profitable and beneficial for the readers especially the ones who have interest in
analyzing symbol in drama. Meanwhile, the writer also wishes to understand and trace the implicit meaning of symbol in Sam Shepard’s drama “Curse of the
Starving Class ”.
F. Methodology of Research
In this research, the writer used descriptive analysis method in analyzing the drama Curse of the Starving Class by Richard Gilman which contains
symbols, with making table of symbols and analyzing the meaning of symbols in the drama, by using the semiotic approach. The data might be
selected, interpreted, and concluded. 2.
Research Instrument The research is the writer himself as an instrument and the subject of this
study is the most commonly used one; he gets all information by reading some books and other references.
3. Unit of Analysis
Unit of analysis in this research is the text of drama “Curse of the Starving Class”;
it was taken from a book “Sam Shepard, Curse of the Starving Class
: A Play in Three Acts, New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1976. This drama was containing of symbols that should be searched and
analyzed by the researcher. 4.
Data Analysis All the data that have been included in this research are qualitative data.
There are four ways that have to be noticed by the writer in analyzing the
data, 1 choosing literary work which contain of symbol; the literary work is Sam Shepard’s drama Curse of the Starving Class, 2 reading the text
of drama intensely, and classify the data which contain of symbol, 3 categorizing the symbol, so that can be understood each other; in
categorizing the data the researcher put them in the table by synchronizing the symbol with the text of drama 4 interpreting the meaning of symbols
by using semiotic theory. 5.
Place and Time This research was done when the writer was studying at the end of twelfth
semester 20062007 in English Letters Department, Letters and Humanities Faculty, State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta.
All materials are taken from libraries, such as University of Indonesia, University of Atmajaya, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University and
other libraries that can give information about the material.
CHAPTER II THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
A. Definition of Prose
Prose is ordinary language that people use in writing such as poetry, stories, editorials, books, etc. The word prose is derived from the Latin word
prosa meaning ‘straightforward’. Prose comes in two types of text - narrative and expository. Narrative text
is defined as something that is narrated such as a story. Expository text is non- fiction reading material such as Description, Analysis, Classification etc.
B. Definition of Poetry
Poetry from the Greek
, poiesis, a making is a form of literary
art in which
language is used for its
aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition
to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning
. Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in
poetic drama ,
lyrics , or
prose poetry . Poetry is published in dedicated magazines the
longest established being Poetry
and Oxford Poetry
, e-zines, individual collections and wider anthologies, although it is rare to see anything other than
lyric poetry outside of collections.
Poetry, and discussions of it, have a long history
. Early attempts to define poetry, such as
Poetics , focused on the uses of
song , and
comedy . Later attempts concentrated on features such as
repetition, verse form
, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from
prose . From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more
loosely defined as a fundamental creative act using language
. Digital poetry
is a modern form.
Poetry is language with musical elements. Some experts maintain that poetry must contain such literary elements as metaphor and simile. Others stress
rhythm and rhyme as the most essential parts of poetry. As with art itself, the definition of poetry is under constant debate. To shed some light on the subject,
lets explore the history, function, types and features of poetry, and take a look at some misconceptions. Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to
suggest alternative meanings in the words, or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as
onomatopoeia , and
sometimes used to achieve musical
effects. The use of ambiguity
, and other stylistic
elements of poetic diction
often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly,
simile , and
metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images a layering of
forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual
verses , in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm.
Some forms of poetry are specific to particular cultures
, responding to the characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. While
readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante
may think of it as being written in rhyming
lines and regular meter
, there are traditions, such as
Biblical poetry , that use other approaches to achieve rhythm
. Much of modern British and American poetry is to some extent a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing among other things the
principle of euphony itself, to the extent that sometimes it deliberately does not rhyme or keep to set rhythms at all. In todays
globalized world poets often
borrow styles, techniques and forms from diverse cultures and languages. Great poems differ from others exactly because of these, since their words
invoke thoughts and powerful feelings in the listener or reader. Some poets, like the Hungarian
József Attila , wrote exceptional poems with words combined in
sentences that achieve meaning greater than the sum of the meanings of the words. Some of these became sayings in the everyday language. Across time and
cultures the meanings of the words change, and make it difficult to enjoy the original beauty and power of poems.
C. Definition of Drama