Tennessee Williams

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Sean Allen
12 June 2013
Mr. John Schultz
Tennessee Williams
Thomas Lanier, also known as Tennessee Williams, was an American writer who worked principally as a playwright in the American Theatre. Also he wrote essays, short stories, poetry, screenplays, and novels with also a volume of memoirs. Tennessee’s professional career lasted about 45 years until his death in 1983. Williams saw the birth of hundreds of plays that are considered to be classics on the American stage. Tennessee Williams was an important American playwright who tied in his personal life into his writings, and used women over men in his play, and comparing his work to the other authors.

Tennessee Williams used events that happened in his personal life to help him with his writings. He used this in his writings by having the characters getting hurt in the plays just like he did. For example in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Maggie becomes increasingly more self-conscious as she is again and again refused by her husband. “Williams’s objective was to create humane freedom out of the ashes of experience” (Skloot). This is saying that Tennessee Williams is trying to create freedom for everybody through his works, because he does not want people to have to go through what he had to.

Another character that gets hurt to show how his life was is Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire. She is so opposed of her past that she chooses to invent a history for herself with the intention of subverting reality. “That of climbing out of an abyss is appropriate in its description of his view of the human condition” (Skloot). Tennessee describes his own situation as a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism is created. This is a perfect comparison between the life of Tennessee Williams and Blanche because of Blanche’s past and how she wanted to go back and change it.

Williams would tie in his writings about his family life and personal experiences into the works. His sister, Rose, illness may have contributed to his alcoholism and his dependence on various combinations of amphetamines and barbiturates. “Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life” (Loney). In the Glass Menagerie there is a resemblance between Tennessee and the main character, Tom. And he had a disabled sister name Laura and they had a controlling mother named Amanda. This is a mirror image of Tennessee Williams life.

William’s father was a heavy drinker and his loudly turbulent behavior caused them to move numerous times around the city. “Cornelius Williams was a man with a violent tempers, and was prone to use his fist” (Adler). Tennessee Williams used the play Glass Menagerie to show how his father was. The father in the play was very violent and was a drunk. He was mean to his children and his wife. This is also a mirror image of how Tennessee Williams tied used real life events to tie into his writings.

Williams loved to have the presence of women over men in his works. The presence of women over men in his works helped him make remarkable plays because he could relate to the women and their life. One of the ways he could relate to them was how women struggled to make relationships with men who are unable or unwilling to make lasting relationships. “In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maggie and Brick presumably had a satisfactory sexual relationship early in their marriage. Problems began to develop, however, when Maggie decided that Brick's close friendship with Skipper indicated homosexual tendencies” (Blackwell). this relates to Tennessee because he thought he had found the right partner for him and in the end problems would develop and it would end. This happened a lot in Tennessee Williams...
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