Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams. He was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi. Williams was primarily raised by his maternal grandparents and sometimes his mother. As a child he suffered from diphtheria which caused his mother to become over protective. His sister suffered from schizophrenia and never fully recovered after having a partial lobotomy. Williams’s father was a traveling sales man who never frequented home often. His father eventually received a non-traveling job in St. Louis which was hard on both Williams and his sister because of the transition from rural to urban. At age sixteen he won an essay contest for his first published work “Can a good wife be a good sport?” After failing out of the University of Missouri, Williams worked in a shoe warehouse and continued his writing until he suffered a nervous breakdown in 1935.Williams worked odd jobs and eventually landed a job with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood during which he wrote The Glass Menagerie. He suffered with depression and underwent intensive psychoanalysis which provided material for his other works. In 1969, Williams was hospitalized following a mental breakdown. He died February 24, 1983 from accidentally choking to death on a medicine bottle cap.
In The Glass Menagerie, a family that consist of a mother, Amanda, a daughter, Laura, and Son, Tom, live in a small apartment together. Tom works at a shoe factory to pay for the rent while his mother took a job searching for subscribers to a magazine. A picture of their father sits on the wall which reminds Amanda of how he left her and now solely relies on Tom to support her and his sister Laura. This worried Amanda because she was afraid Tom would leave like her h...
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...ction of Williams himself. When Williams failed out of college, he worked at a shoe factory which was the occupation Tom had. Tom lived with his sister, and mother with no father figure around except for the picture. In Williams’s life, his father worked so much that he lived with his sister and mother. Laura was a reflection of Williams’s sister. She was facing her disability of having one leg shorter than the other and extreme anxiety. Williams sister suffered from schizophrenia and wasn’t able to function by herself. The mother in the play represented Williams’s mother. Both were over protective and always wanted more for their children.
In conclusion, Tennessee Williams used setting, symbolism, and the main characters to give the reader a feel of what he endured to make the play a personal experience as well as making them feel like they were watching the play.
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