Tennessee Williams is one of the greatest American playwrights. He was constantly shocking audiences with themes such as homosexuality, drug addictions, and rape. He broke free from taboos on such subjects, paving the way for future playwrights.
Williams wrote about his life. The Glass Menagerie is a very autobiographical play. A Streetcar Named Desire, although meant to a play that anyone can relate to, also contained characters and situations from his life. In both plays, the characters are drawn from his life. This essay will discuss is the similarities between The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, which have similar characters and themes throughout them.
A Streetcar Named Desire takes place in New Orleans. The characters are Blanche Dubois, Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski (Blanche’s sister, Stanley’s wife), and Mitch, a friend of Stanley’s. The play focuses on Blanche and how she falls deeper and deeper into her delusional state, until, finally at the end, a doctor and a nurse take her away.
The Glass Menagerie takes place in St. Louis. The play features the Wingfields. Amanda is the mother and her two children are Tom and Laura. A gentleman caller named Jim O’Connor comes in at the end of the play. This play is basically about Tom’s memories of the last bit of time he was with his family, before leaving them as his father did. Since the play takes place in the memory, it is dark and some things are very exaggerated. Laura is a cripple who is lost in her own world, with no hope of ever finding someone to love her. Amanda is also living in her own world, one where she is still a southern beauty. She feels that if Laura doesn’t marry so...
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... one in The Glass Menagerie.
Throughout both of these plays run many common themes, often themes from Williams own life. He was a writer who broke taboos and wrote about depraved people, people going crazy and many other themes that weren’t considered appropriate at the time. His own life was very chaotic.
Works Cited A Streetcar Named Desire. By Tennessee Williams. Dir. Scot Whitney. Harlequin Productions, Olympia. September 1998.
2.“Remember Tennessee Williams.” Tom Sullivan. 21 June 2000. http://www.lambda.net/~maximum/williams.html Roudane, Mathew C. Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams. New York: Cambridge Press, 1997 Williams, Tennessee. “The Glass Menagerie”. Anthology of American Literature: From Realism to the Present. By Tennessee Williams. Ed. McMichael, George et. al. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000. 1445-
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