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Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

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Tennessee Williams

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  1. Tennessee Williams

  2. Early Life • Thomas Lanier Williams III was born on March 26 1911 in Mississippi. • When Williams was 8 years old he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. For two years he could hardly do anything. His mother gave him a typewriter and told him to use his imagination. • His family relocated in 1919 • Williams won his first literary award for an essay he wrote when he was sixteen. • Due to his southern accent, friends at the University of Iowa dubbed him “Tennessee”

  3. Themes of Williams Plays • The old South’s lost aristocracy in tension with the invading materialism of the reconstructed South. • Many of his female characters are individuals psychologically trapped in the myths, self-delusions, and pretensions of the “gentility” of the agrarian, “Cavalier” past. Some are of the Southern “wench” variety, passionate in behavior, sex-driven, in conflict with Puritan/Victorian mores. • Some of his male characters are lusty, self-serving, “rednecks”; others are “poet realists” who try to find their way in the shifting economic profile, changed values, and altered morality of a new South. Yet others are dull, unimaginative types, representative of Williams’ view of those who have bought into the “herd mentality” of the American “shoe-factory” world.

  4. Selected Works • The Glass Menagerie (1945) • A Streetcar Named Desire (1947 • )One Arm and other stories (1948 • )Summer and Smoke (1948) • The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1950) • The Rose Tattoo (1951) • Camino Real (1953

  5. William’sWisdom • “I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.” • “Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead.” • “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” • “All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.”