The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire

Essay by num1qutieHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

Tennessee Williams is one of the most famous playwrights of all times. "…he has the sensitivity of the poet, combined with the theatricality of the dramatist and the dedication of the artist, to place him among the foremost of modern American playwrights" (Gould 246). William's plays are different from other plays of his time in their ability to introduce characters that that move the audiences to tears with their tragic lives. It is common knowledge that both The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire were amazingly successful; the former won the Drama Critics Award and the latter won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the Dram Critics Award. However, what is less known is that both The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire are based on the actual experiences of Tennessee Williams.

Tennessee William's, also known as Thomas(Tom) Lanier William, first success as a playwright was The Glass Menagerie.

The play was an attempt to forget his tragic past, an attempt to forget the guilt he felt for his sister's condition, and an attempt to be finally able to move on in life. His characters are in some sort or the other a reflection of his family members or people. Laura Wingfield, from The Glass Menagerie, is a combination of his sister Rose's heartbreaking past and the one person whose face remained in his memories from all the parish walks he took as a child with his grandfather, Laura Young. Laura Young was one of the few people Tennessee Williams met as a child who impacted him thoroughly. Her "… wistful, fragile face, the glow of religious faith that shone in her eyes…with a sad patient smile" (Gould 225) along with his sister's slowly dilapidating mental health inspired the character of Laura Wingfield. Rose's childhood hobby of...