Tennessee Williams Biography Powerpoint

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Presentation Description

This powerpoint presentation focuses on experiences in his life that are directly connected to elements in his plays.

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Presentation Transcript

Slide1: 

A Biography

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The Glass Menagerie is said to be an autobiographical play. As you read the play, compare and contrast its themes with those of Williams’ own life.

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Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams was born in 1914 in Columbus, Mississippi. The Court House Fishing The Marina

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His Mother… Daughter of a Episcopalian minister Gentle Prim Romantically attracted to life on the Southern plantations Tennessee spent the 1st 8 years of his life at home with her, his religious grandfather, and his sister, Rose

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His Father… Violent Aggressive Served as a lieutenant in the Spanish-American War -traveled around the country as a shoe salesman

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His Sister… -w Mother dressed her in old- fashioned Southern costumes Received “gentleman callers” -Sensitive -Withdrawn -Committed to a mental institution in 1937

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During the Depression, -Tennessee’s father found him a job as a clerk in a shoe factory -He rose every day to “Rise and Shine!” -He escaped into gambling, drinking, and writing -He hid in the men’s room and wrote poetry -He was discovered and fired

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After suffering a nervous breakdown, Tennessee moved in with his grandparents in Memphis, Tennessee, and wrote his first play…. In many of his plays , Williams ‘ characters are individuals psychologically trapped in the myths, self delusions, and pretensions of the gentility of the agrarian “Cavalier” past.

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Williams’ characters include… * the Southern “wench”: -passionate in behavior -sex-driven -in conflict with Puritan/Victorian values * the “redneck”: -lusty -self-serving * poet-realist”: -trying to find his way in the new South * the dull, unimaginative type: -part of the “herd mentality” of the American “shoe-factory” world

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Williams’ primary genius is his ability to develop compelling characters that transcend the Southern environment in which they are Implanted. These characters include… …the obsessed mother, Amanda, and her overly shy daughter, Laura, in “The Glass Menagerie…

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…the fragile, “displaced” Blanche … …and the raw sexual energy of Stan In “The Streetcar Named Desire”…

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…the vulnerability of Tom in “The Glass Menagerie… …and of Mitch in “Streetcar”… …grow out of the tensions of the post-Civil War South, but their problems and conflicts are a part of all human experience.

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Williams’ dramatic power comes from: The content of his plays The use of non-linear structure The devices of technical support Symbols Music Lighting Set design The vibrant images of his plays’ titles Characterizations Themes All these elements add a haunting “third dimension” to his plays.

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The End

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