Tennessee Williams Analysis

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Tennessee Williams

Williams writing seemed to “flourished off of controversy” (Falk 28). He began writing at the age of fourteen as an escape from bullies and the abusive relationship he had with his father. He began as a poet and would always consider himself a poet. Williams often laced his work with poetic verses and simple rhymes to make the words flow with ease. Inspiration for Williams’ play came from his own life. Often, he uses the character, the “southern gentleman who can not cope with contemporary society” (Falk 37) for the basis of his male characters. Williams considered himself a “southern gentleman who could not cope with contemporary society” (Falk 37) therefore, he could easily draw from his own life experiences. Williams centers many of his plots around mental illness and sex, two very un-spoken-of topics discussed in the 1940’s. Williams was also fond of symbolism, which often plays key roles in his writing. The symbols in Williams’ plays represent some form of escape from the distorted reality in which the characters are living. By integrating personal experiences into his work, writing gave Williams a means of escape into an ideal world. Tennessee Williams was born in Colombus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911 as the fist son and second child of Cornelius Williams and Edwina Williams. In 1919, Williams’ father was promoted and moved the family to Saint Louis. “The move represented a traumatic change in lifestyle for both Tennessee and his sister Rose” (Alder 497). Williams’ life had been deeply affected not only by leaving the deep South at a young age, but also by the mental illness of his sister Rose, to whom he was very close. Williams’ mind too was greatly conflicted by a childhood disease which left him a hypochondriac. There was an “ill feeling between himself and his father” (Alder 497) which often gave Williams a feeling of distance from his parents. Williams too later discovered, and accepted (as revealed in his memoirs)...
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