Tennessee Williams Essay Research Paper

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Tennessee Williams Essay, Research Paper Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams March 26,1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. He was the son of Cornelius Coffin andEdwina (Dakin) Williams. His father, Cornelius, was a traveling salesmanwho traveled constantly, and moved his family several times during the firstdecade of Williams? life. For the first seven years of Williams? life, he, hismother, and his sister Rose lived with Mrs. Williams father, theEpiscopalian clergyman. Cornelius often abused Williams, by calling him?Miss Nancy?, because he preferred books to sports. Williams? mother,Edwina Williams, was a southern belle, and the daughter of a clergyman.She is frequently cited as the inspiration for the domineering and possessivemother figures in Williams? plays.

Williams was quite close to his oldersister, Rose, who was institutionalized for schizophrenia for much of herlife. The character Laura in the Glass Menagerie is thought to be basedupon Rose. Williams was a sick and lonely child who endangered his frailhealth by forgoing sleep to write. The book Mrs. Williams wrote conveys asense of family marked with anger, tension, and separateness, which mighthelp explain some of the recurrent themes of Williams? plays. If home was ?not a pleasant refuge?, as Williams once said, ?Theoutside world was no better.? Williams remembered getting teased bygangs of boys at school, but he still went. He graduated from high school inJanuary 1929. He then went on to the University of Missouri that fall. Hewas forced to drop out after his third year and

go to work for his father inthe shoe business. He worked at the shoe company for three years, andfinally escaped by breaking down. A collapse that is attributed variously toexhaustion, heart palpitations, and the recurrence of childhood paralysis.He spent a recuperative summer with his grandparents in Memphis,Tennessee and enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.He dropped out in 1937. He finally graduated from the University of Iowain 1938. He spent the rest of his life writing. He choked to death February24, 1983 in his suite at Hotel Elysee, in New York, New York. He wasburied in St. Louis, Missouri. He began his life of writing and wondering, which went on eversince. Williams was becoming a writer. He began as a child, unlike mostwriters, in Remember Me Tom.

Williams once said, ?I write from my owntensions, for me, this is a form of therapy.? In a 1960 interview with ArthurGelb in the New York Times, Williams spoke of his, ?Desire for success? I want to reach a mass audience.? Williams was not only a ?poet?, sendingmessages of his own isolation out to the world, but the professional writer insearch of an audience, and success. In 1927, pretending to be an unhappilymarried traveling salesman, the sixteen year old Williams won third place ina smart set contest, ?Can A Good Wife Be A Good Sport??; his entry, whichanswers no to the question, is reprinted in Remember Me To Tom. In 1928, his first professionally published story appeared in theAugust issue of Weird Tales. In 1929, as a freshman in college, alreadythinking of himself as a

playwright, Williams announced his ambition to goto the school of journalism. Tennessee Williams? career as a playwright got under way in 1935,during the summer he spent in Memphis. The production of Cairo!Shanghai! Bombay! gave Williams the motivation to turn out more plays.The play, co-authored by Dorothy Shapiro, a Memphis friend, was neverprinted. In 1936, Williams became associated with The Mummers, a livelySt. Louis theater group under the direction of Willard Holland, whomWilliams praised in his introduction to 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. For themhe wrote a one-actor headline to serve as a curtain-raiser for an ArmisticeDay production of Irwin Shaw?s Bury The Dead. Within the next two years,The Mummers produced two full-length Williams plays, Candles In TheSun, and The