The Effects of Tennessee Williams on Paul Zindel

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 21
  • Published: July 6, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview
The Effects of Tennessee Williams on Paul Zindel

Julia Wuestefeld

Extended Essay - Theatre Arts

3224 words


It is possible to notice many similarities between the works of Tennessee Williams and Paul Zindel. This essay investigates the extent to which the works of Tennessee Williams directly influenced that of Paul Zindel. Through a careful analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie by Williams, as well as a comparison of those with The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Zindel, this essay seeks out parallels between the two authors. It also studies the biographies of said authors to determine whether their similar plays are only a function of similar life experience. Finally, the essay scrutinizes the vision of directions on A Streetcar Named Desire and The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds to find out if these portrayals also tease out equivalences between Tennessee Williams and Paul Zindel. The essay concludes that there are too many similarities in the characters, themes, and style of writing of the two authors to say that there is absolutely no influence between them. Even though he never claimed this to take place, Paul Zindel was - to some extent - influenced by the works of Tennessee Williams. Even though much of the similarities between the writing can be due to the fact that they've lived through similar situations, there was a connection between Tennessee Williams and Paul Zindel.�


2Abstract �

3Contents �

4Analysis of the Literature �

8Analysis of the Biographies �

10Analysis of Directors' Productions �

13Conclusion �

15Bibliography �

"Paul Zindel has written a masterful, pacesetting drama. It combines moments of pain, poignancy, beauty, and hope. It is the most compelling work of its kind since Tennessee Williams' _The Glass Menagerie_." - Variety.


Paul Zindel, born on May 15th, 1936, in New York (Advameg, Inc), is a renowned playwright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his most famous play The Effects of Gamma Rays of Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Due to many different aspects of his piece, a great deal of readers associates his work with that of Tennessee Williams. The latter, another American, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born on March 26th, 1914, in Columbus, Mississippi (Advameg, Inc). These author's themes, characters, and style all share many similarities. But what exactly were, if any, the effects and influences of Tennessee Williams' writing on that of Paul Zindel? What are other factors that may have made these two so comparable? Through an analysis of the plays written by each playwright, and the examination of directors' rendition of them, as well as a comparison of their biographies and motivation, I seek to find how Williams' writing may have influenced Zindel.


By analysing and comparing the innovative elements in Williams' plays with that of Zindel, we may find some connections. These may lead us to conclude that the dramatic elements used by Williams' at first later influenced Zindel in his writing.

Tennessee Williams is considered to be a very innovative and original author, with little fear of exploring the provocative. In fact, some scenes in A Streetcar Named Desire had to be censored in the movie, due to the "moral ambiguity of its characters" (Censored Films and Television). For example, both the characters of Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois were seen as sexual images, the first for his behaviour toward his wife and rape of his sister-in-law, and the second because of her promiscuous life in Laurel (Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire). In Stanley's line, it is possible to see Blanche's character, "But even the management of the Flamingo was impressed by Dame Blanche. And in fact, they were so impressed that they requested her to turn in her room-key for...
tracking img