Tennessee Williams Research Paper

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Tennessee Williams was an American playwright who lived from March 26th, 1911 to February 25th, 1983. Much of his work involves the hardships of American families and problems people from all levels of society face (Famous People). He is considered one of the greatest Americans playwrights of the 20th century. Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams in Columbus, Mississippi to Cornelius Williams, who was a traveling shoe salesman, and Edwina Dakin (A&E). He was the second of three children. Due to his father’s profession, Williams had a complicated relationship with him, while his mother did most of the parenting. When he was young, Williams suffered from diphtheria, which almost killed him, but instead, it left him weak and …show more content…

While he was at the University of Missouri, he joined the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, but it didn’t work out as he didn’t fit in with his fraternity brothers (Famous People). They thought that he was too much of an awkward loner. His time at the University of Missouri lasted until 1931 when his father pulled him out because he failed a military training course. He was also enraged that Williams’ girlfriend also went to the same university (A&E). Cornelius then made Williams work at the same shoe company he worked at as a sales clerk. Williams hated his job at the shoe company and by the time he was 24, he quit. In 1936, Williams would enroll in Washington University, located in his home city of St. Louis (The Editors). Williams would later enroll in the University of Iowa where he would graduate in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in …show more content…

He would adopt the name “Tennessee”. The reason he chose it was because his father was from Tennessee. Williams was first recognized for his work in 1939 when his play American Blues won the Group Theater award (The Editors). Williams would work in various jobs until his success came when his play, The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in 1944. Williams would continue to have more success with his work. In 1947 his play A Streetcar Named Desire opened on Broadway and was hugely successful. It solidified Williams’ place as one of Americas greatest playwrights as he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Best Play (Famous People). Williams was very successful during the late 1940s until the late 1960s. He became addicted to alcohol, much like his father, and drugs. His plays during the 1970s weren’t very successful due to his afflictions and the death of his partner, Frank Merlo, taking a toll on him. He wrote a play called Memoirs in 1975, which was about his life story and the problems he had (The Editors). Later on, in 1982, Williams wrote his last play called A House Not Meant To Stand, which was a success, but it didn’t run for very long. Williams addiction finally got to him and he died in a New York hotel room on February 25th, 1983 surrounded by alcohol and pills. The cause of death is said to be from choking on an eye drop bottle

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