Portrayal of Women in The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, and Period of Adjustment
Tennessee Williams has become one of the most well known literary figures in modern America. His plays are often controversial because of his preoccupation with sex and violence and his fearlessness to probe the dark areas of human life. Williams's earlier work often inspired his later plays and basic character types often reappear throughout each of his plays. A reoccurring theme in each of his plays is the role of the female. The women featured in the plays of Tennessee Williams all suffer from physical or emotional mutilation and seek fulfillment from a mate.
An influential factor in Tennessee Williams's writing was his own personal experience. The Glass Menagerie is a play that originated in the memory of the author. Williams drew heavily on his own family experiences, describing the lives of his mother, sister, and himself. Many aspects of the play resemble some of Williams's past experiences during childhood. The apartment that Amanda, Laura, and Tom Wingfield share is in the middle of the city, and it is among many dark alleys with fire escapes. Tom and Laura do not like the dark atmosphere of their living conditions, and their mother tries to make it as pleasant as possible. This apartment is almost a mirror image of one of the apartments that the Williams family lived in St. Louis, Missouri (American Writers IV). Amanda Wingfield is a typical Southern belle who fantasizes about her seventeen gentlemen callers back in Blue Mountain. She regularly attends meetings of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), which are important outlets for her social...
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...w not having a mate as being a disgrace and a failure. The life experiences of each of Williams's female characters is unique. However, what the characters have in common is an emotional or physical mutilation that they seek to fulfill by finding a suitable mate.
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