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Tennessee Williams. By Todd Christensen. Background. Thomas Lanier Williams Born in Columbus, Mississippi (1911-1983) Older sister, Rose Younger brother, Walter Father’s abandonment becomes motif for The Glass Menagerie. Influences. Chekhov D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930 )

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tennessee williams

Tennessee Williams

By Todd Christensen

background
Background
  • Thomas Lanier Williams
  • Born in Columbus, Mississippi
  • (1911-1983)
  • Older sister, Rose
  • Younger brother, Walter
  • Father’s abandonment becomes motif for The Glass Menagerie
influences
Influences
  • Chekhov
  • D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
  • Hart Crane (1899-1932)– Aspects are depicted as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Sebastian Venable in Suddenly Last Summer
sebastian
Sebastian
  • Dead before play begins
  • Homosexual
  • Devoured by island boys he tried to seduce
mrs violet venable
Mrs. Violet Venable
  • Wealthy Southern dowager
  • Commits Catharine to a mental asylum
  • Suffers from a stroke
catharine
Catharine
  • Violet’s niece
  • Sebastian’s cousin
  • Witnesses Sebastian’s death and tells and retells the details of the murder
dr cukrowicz
Dr. Cukrowicz
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Mrs. Venable wants him to lobotomize her niece
scene o ne
Scene One
  • Set in New Orleans
  • Mrs. Venable accompanied Sebastian on summer travels
  • “Poem of Summer”
  • Violet has stroke
  • Catharine accompanies Sebastian on his summer trip and witnesses his murder
scene two
Scene Two
  • Catharine is sent to a mental asylum
  • She “babbles” the story of Sebastian’s death at Cabeza de Lobo in the Encantadas (the Galapagos Islands)
  • Mrs. Venable consults Dr. Cukrowicz to perform a lobotomy
scene three
Scene Three
  • Catharine’s mother and brother appear only to claim money from Sebastian’s estate
  • Unmoved by Catharine’s suffering
scene four
Scene Four
  • Catharine’s climactic description of Sebastian’s death
  • Dr. Cukrowicz injects Catharine with sodium pentathol and discovers that her story is true
  • He confronts Mrs. Venable with the truth about her son’s death.
amanda wingfield
Amanda Wingfield
  • Laura’s mother
  • Persuades Tom to invite Jim over for dinner
laura wingfield
Laura Wingfield
  • Tom’s younger sister
  • Collects glass animal figurines
  • Favorite is Unicorn
tom wingfield
Tom Wingfield
  • Narrator
  • Loves his sister and is the sole support of the family
jim o connor
Jim O’Connor
  • Engaged already
  • High School hero
  • Works in the Continental Shoemakers warehouse with Tom
scene one and two
Scene One and Two
  • Just before World War II
  • Amanda wants Laura to complete a typing class
  • Laura pretends to attend and wanders in the park instead
scene three and four
Scene Three and Four
  • Tom knocks over Laura’s collection (accidentally)
  • Amanda makes a bargain with Tom
scene five and six
Scene Five and Six
  • Tom has invited Jim O’ Connor to dinner
  • He has not told Jim about Laura
  • Amanda reveals Jim’s identity before he arrives
  • Amanda entertains Jim with small talk
scene seven
Scene Seven
  • Laura brings out their high school yearbook (The Torch)
  • Jim is nice to Laura and asks her to dance
  • While dancing, the unicorn’s horn breaks off
  • Jim kisses Laura
    • Realizes he goes too far
blanch dubois
Blanch DuBois
  • English teacher
  • Stays at “Elysian Fields” with Stella and Stanley Kowalski
  • Homosexual husband committed suicide
stanley kowalski
Stanley Kowalski
  • Abusive
  • Malice towards Blanche
  • A “Brute”
stella kowalski
Stella Kowalski
  • Only thing in common with Stella is sex life and bowling
  • Doesn’t believe Blanche’s rape story about Stanley
harold mitch mitchell
Harold (“Mitch”) Mitchell
  • Unmarried
  • Only one to treat Blanche with respect since her arrival
  • Relationship with Blanche ends after he learns of her past
scene one and two30
Scene One and Two
  • Set in New Orleans
  • Blanche and Stanley don’t get along
  • Stella plans to take Blanche out to not interfere with Stanley’s poker night
scene three and four31
Scene Three and Four
  • Blanche meets Mitch
  • Blanche asserts that Stella’s marriage and unborn child are products of a lust as aimless as the “street-car named Desire”
  • Blanche implores Stella to resist the future with Stanley
scene five and six32
Scene Five and Six
  • Stanley met a man who met a whore named Blanche
  • Mitch takes Blanche out that night
  • A boy comes to collect for the newspaper and Blanche kisses him
  • On their date, Blanche tells Mitch of her marriage
scene seven eight and nine
Scene Seven, Eight, and Nine
  • Stanley reveals to Mitch that Blanche was fired from her teaching job
  • Stanley gives Blanche a bus ticket to Laurel
  • Stella goes into labor
  • Mitch and Blanche’s relationship ends
scene ten and eleven
Scene Ten and Eleven
  • The baby hasn’t come yet and Stanley returns home
  • Stanley rapes Blanche
  • Stella returns with the baby and Blanche tells her what has happened
  • Stella has Blanche admitted to an asylum
  • She never accepts that the rape occurred