Tennessee Williams and His Influences

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Tennessee Williams is not only one of the greatest playwright from the South, but also the greatest playwright in the history of American drama. He was born on March 26th, 1911 under the name of Thomas Lanier Williams. As the role of a second child in the family, he had suffered though difficult and troubling childhood. His father was a shoe salesman and a sensitively absent parent; while his mother was a daughter of a minister of Southern Episcopal. His childhood had changed since his family moved from a small Southern town in Mississippi to St. Louis in 1918. He took third prize in a national essay contest “Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?” by The Smart Pet magazine at the age of 16 (GradeSaver, 1). His career started at this point. He first enrolled in University of Missouri, but then he entered the University of Iowa and graduated in 1938. He had a hard time to look for jobs in Chicago, and then moved down to New Orleans. At this place, he began to change his name to Tennessee, which is a nickname that he got from college years because of his Southern accent (GradeSaver, 2). “The Glass Menagerie” was considered his finest play in the 40s, which won the NY Drama Critics’ Circle award for the best play of the season when it first opened in Chicago, IL and New York City (Cash, 1). The play is the story of Tom, as associated with Tennessee Williams in real life; his disabled sister Laura and the controlling mother, Amanda. Catching the attention of public, many audiences believe that he used his personal issues to inspire the play. His sister - Rose - who he cared the most greatly impacted on him to write the play. Eight years after that, Williams made big hits on Broadway with “A Street Car Named Desire”, which brought him the second New York Critics’ Circle Award and Pulitzer Prize in 1947; “Summer and Smoke”, “A Rose Tattoo”, and “Camino Real”. During the 50s, “The Glass Menagerie” and “A Street Car Named Desire” were brought to motion pictures industry....
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