Tennesee Williams

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tennesee williams



Tennessee Williams (1911 1983)

Thomas Lanier Williams was born on March 26, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi. The second of three children, his family life was full of tension. His parents, a shoe salesman and the daughter of a minister, often engaged in violent arguments that frightened his sister Rose.

In 1927, Williams got his first taste of literary fame when he took third place in a national essay contest sponsored by The Smart Set magazine. In 1929, he was admitted to the University of Missouri where he saw a production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts and decided to become a playwright.
But his degree was interrupted when his father forced him to withdraw from college and work at the International Shoe Company. There he worked with a young man named Stanley Kowalski who would later resurface as a character in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Eventually, Tom returned to school. In 1937, he had two of his plays (Candles to the Sun
and The Fugitive Kind) produced by Mummers of St. Louis, and in 1938, he graduated from the University of Iowa. After failing to find work in Chicago, he moved to New Orleans and changed his name from "Tom" to "Tennessee" which was the state of his father's birth.

In 1939, the young playwright received a $1,000 Rockefeller Grant, and a year later, Battle of Angels was produced in Boston. In 1944, what many consider to be his best play, The Glass Menagerie, had a very successful run in Chicago and a year later burst its way onto Broadway. The play tells the story of Tom, his disabled sister, Laura, and their controlling mother Amanda who tries to make a match between Laura and the gentleman caller. Many people believe that Tennessee used his own familial relationships as inspiration for the play. His own mother, who is often compared to the controlling Amanda, allowed doctors to perform a frontal lobotomy on Tennessee's sister Rose, an event that greatly disturbed Williams who cared for Rose thr

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