All writer use to one degree or another elements of their life to help formulate their characters and stories, but Tennessee Williams seems to draw more from his personal experiences than most. After reading “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin” and doing some background research on the author it becomes quite clear that he wrote this story as a reflection of his life. The similarities between the narrator/boy in the story and Tennessee himself are quite obvious, as well as other characters and members of his family. There are many specific aspects of Tennessee’s life that make “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin” a story that he is uniquely if not exclusively able to write.
The first and most obvious similarity between Tennessee and the story is that the main character of the story is a boy, but not only a boy, a boy who is starting to discover that he is attracted to men and may be a homosexual. This is obviously an area that Tennessee can relate to because he too was gay. But that single factor does not make the author unique in being able to write the story. What makes Tennessee specifically qualified to write the story is the time and place that he experienced the realities of being a boy discovering his sexuality. Tennessee was born in the deep south of Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911. This time in history is known for being intolerant of homosexuality, and if there was one region that stood out the most for this intolerance it would be the south. Even today Mississippi is considered one of the least tolerant states being ranked 38th on The Daily Beast’s ranking of most tolerant states(thedailybeast.com). In fact Mississippi was one of the states that continued to practice sodomy laws until 2003 when the supreme court ruled it unconstitutional (thetaskforce.org). Growing up gay in the American south at this time would be riddled with hardships that few other places could match. For example Tennessee probably felt an...
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