Tennessee Williams  

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Tennessee Williams (March 26, 1911February 25, 1983) was an American gay playwright and screenwriter best-known for A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the film Baby Doll.

The Work

The "mad heroine" theme that appeared in many of his plays seemed clearly influenced by the life of Williams's sister Rose.

Characters in his plays are often seen as representations of his family members. Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was understood to be modeled on Rose. Some biographers believed that the character of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Just Desserts is also based on her, as well as Williams himself. When Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, he believed he was going to die and that this play would be his swan song.

Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was generally seen to represent Williams' mother. Characters such as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Sebastian in Suddenly, Last Summer were understood to represent Williams himself. In addition, he used a lobotomy operation as a motif in Suddenly, Last Summer.

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof included references to elements of Williams' life such as homosexuality, mental instability and alcoholism.


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