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Tennessee Williams: His Life in "Suddenly Last Summer" and "The Glass Menagerie"

Powerful Essays
In the study of Tennessee Willliams' plays: "Suddenly Last Summer" and "The Glass Menagerie", we can find a great deal of autobiographical connections. "The Glass Menagerie" is particularly considered the author's most biographical work. It is described by the playwright as "a memory play"; indeed, it is a memory of the author's own youth, an expression of his own life and experiences. Similarly, "Suddenly Last Summer" includes many of Tennesse Williams' real life details.

First and foremost, this analysis is going to be focused on the families of both plays since these families are undoubtedly connected, particularly the Wingfield family, with Tennesse Willimas' family. Thus, in "The Glass Menagerie", Tennesse Williams is writing about his absent father, his domineering mother, his sensitive sister, and of course about himself. Similarly, Sebastian Venable in "Suddenly Last Summer" can be identified in many aspects with Tennesse Williams himself. Secondly, Mrs. Venable, who seeks to silence her niece by brain surgery, can be identified in this way with Tennesse Williams's mother. Finally, Catherine, and particularly the idea of lunacy and the threat of a lobotomy are related to Tennesse Willliams' sister.

Now, I am going to analyze all these mentioned autobiographical connections in detail. To begin with, the absence of the father is appreciated in "Suddenly Last Summer" and in "The Glass Menagerie" as well as in Tennesse Williams' life. Tennesse Williams' father was a relevant influence on his life. He was a traveling salesman who despised his son as a "sissy" who caused Tenesse Williams inferiority complex and shyness to mix with other boys. His personal troubles would increase with his father's decision of moving from Mi...

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...differs from God's view of creation. Sebastian only brings destruction instead of creation.

It is possible to establish a significant connection between Tennesse Williams's vision of God and society's view of homosexuality. Tennesse Williams presents the image of a cruel and merciless God from the Old Testament, who does not forgive Sebastaian's daring act of playing to be Himself; instead, he condemns him to that horrible death in Cabeza de Lobo. In a similar way, society condemns homosexuality. People are not tolerant but critical against everything that goes against social rules. Significantly, at the end of the play when Sebastian is being literary devoured by those boys, Catherine asks for "Help" (It could be understood like "mercy" in Christian terms), but nobody goes up the hill to save him until he is dead. Therefore, both God and society condemn him.
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