A Streetcar Named Desire Essay

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How was Tennessee Williams able to translate the actions and visuals in a play so efficiently into text format, and was any meaning lost in translation? Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III was born on March 26, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi as the second child of Edwina and Cornelius Coffin Williams. William’s father was a traveling salesman and a heavy drinker. William’s mother was a Mississippi clergyman’s daughter prone to hysterical attacks. Until he was seven he actually lived with his siblings at the house of Edwina’s parents. As a small child Tennessee suffered from a case of diphtheria which nearly ended his life and left him weak and confined to his house over the course of two years. After being bedridden, Williams grew into a withdrawn, effeminate adolescent whose chief solace was writing. At sixteen, Williams won a prize in a national competition that asked for essays answering the question “Can a good wife be a good sport?” His answer was published in Smart Set magazine. In the years following this he entered the University of Missouri to study journalism. It was in college that he wrote his first plays, being inspired by the works of Robert Penn Warren, William Faulkner, Allen Tate, and Thomas Wolfe. Before he was able to earn his degree his father actually forced him out of school, and made him go to work in the same shoe factory he worked in himself. Many of the themes and vices found in Williams’ dramas were mined from the playwright’s own life. Alcoholism, depression, thwarted desire, loneliness, and insanity were all part of Williams’ world. His experience as a known homosexual in an era unfriendly to homosexuality also informed his work. Williams’ early plays also connected with the new American taste for realism that emerged following the Depression and World War II. The characters in A Streetcar Named Desire are

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