A study of time in selected dramatic works of Tennessee Williams



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The purpose of this thesis is to point out Williams' temporal preoccupations and to demonstrate the effects of this obsession on his art. He views these temporal elements as forces which influence the action, pattern of characterization, and philosophy of his plays. Like other writers of the Southern Renaissance, Williams is concerned with the importance of the past and of time and with the ways in which these elements affect human lives. He employs two types of past, the historical and the personal, both being powerful determinants of thought and action in the present. He emphasizes the past through his settings, thematic music, characterization, and through his use of myth, juxtaposition,, and symbology in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Summer and Smoke. But his attitude toward the past is ambivalent, and he makes no definite moral judgment of the representatives of the past in his plays. [...]



Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983, Criticism and interpretation