There are many ways our past life experiences affect our actions. Every person in this world has a story and every person goes about his or her “story” differently. Tennessee Williams, a man from Mississippi, took his life experiences and his memories and chose to write stories and plays based on them. His stories were rooted from his troubled past. Tennessee Williams’ most famous play, The Glass Menagerie, has a full cast of characters extremely similar to his own family and a plot directly related to his life.
Tennessee Williams was born in 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi. Williams described his childhood as happy. As a teen, he and his family moved to St. Louis Missouri. Things changed for him there. Williams turned inward and a sadness took over him. As a result, he began writing. Williams was predominantly raised by his mother, Edwina. He never had a good relationship with his father, Cornelius Williams. His father was a heavy drinker and cared more about his work than he did about parenting. Also, Williams’s parents did not have a good marriage. Growing up in a tense household took a toll on him. After Williams attended college at the University of Columbia, he moved to New Orleans. There, he turned his lifestyle around and became enthralled by the city life, which inspired his work.
The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams’ most famous play and success, was written in 1944. This play has many autobiographical elements and the story is more closely related to his life than any of his other pieces. Tennessee based the character Tom on himself. His mother, Edwina, was the basis for the mother in the play, Amanda Wingfield. The character of Laura Wingfield was very similar to Tennessee’s older sister, Rose....
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...d for the majority of his life. He made writing his outlet through all of his struggles. For a good part of his life, Williams needed an escape from reality and he found one. The Glass Menagerie doesn’t just tell a story of characters in a play. It tells the true story of Tennessee Williams, a man who was deeply affected by his troubled past and found no other way to escape it than to put it down on paper and tell it.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions, 1999. Print.
Leverich, Lyle. Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams. New York: Crown, 1995. Print.
Jackson, Esther Merle. The Broken World of Tennessee Williams. University of Wisconsin Press, 1965.
Williams, Dakin, and Shepherd Mead. Tennessee Williams: An Intimate Biography. New York: Arbor House, 1983. Print.
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