Read Three by Tennessee: Sweet Bird of Youth; The Rose Tattoo; The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams Free Online
Book Title: Three by Tennessee: Sweet Bird of Youth; The Rose Tattoo; The Night of the Iguana|
The author of the book: Tennessee Williams
Date of issue: August 1st 1976
ISBN 13: 9780451521491
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 872 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.3
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*I think I'll write a review on this book (or on these three plays)since I haven't written one for a while.
I picked up this book when Borders was having its closing sales, because I read The Glass Menagerie in a class and wanted to read his other works.
In the foreword, Tennessee Williams writes:
Last year I thought it might help me as a writer to undertake psychoanalysis and so I did. The analyst, being acquainted with my work and recognizing the psychic wounds expressed in it, asked me, soon after we started, "Why are you so full of hate, anger and envy?" (xi)
(Williams agreed with "anger" and "envy", but contested "hate.")
Knowing this and part of Williams' experiences, I understand where he comes from and how it has influenced his plays. However, despite the topics he addresses (through the characters' aimlessness and depression)in his play, one can't say that he didn't strive or put in effort to create original compositions. His plays are far from sugarcoated, but he does a good job at presenting unadulterated reality.
Sweet Bird of Youth commences on an Easter Sunday. When I read this part, I immediately thought of other books, which mentions Easter Sunday: Faust and Silias Marner too, I believe. The setting seems trite. However, I have not read a play like this one. Chance, the protagonist, is a confused person, who, like Jay Gatsby (from The Great Gatsby...), tries to return to the past to a girl he likes. Meanwhile, he is with a distraught actress nicknamed "Princess" for emotional support... Personally, the play was "okay"; it didn't really attract my attention. I was a neutral reader who didn't grasp the story. I think I get it now. The "Three" are similar to The Glass Menagerie, a sad love story. More mature readers might like it more than I do, but the stories are a bit too depressing for my taste.
The Rose Tattoo has a similar theme, but seems more dynamic. The main character, the Italian widow, who lost her husband, fears that she will lose her only daughter to a sailor. She is a stereotypical Italian women who's not afraid to yell. She tries to recover from her lost, but is insecure that her husband may have cheated on her and this drives her to insanity. Though she does some despicable things, the story was well-developed and the focus on the daughter and mother relationship was very moving in one of the scenes. At least it shows that the mother, Serafina, meant well but was struggling with reality.
The Night of the Iguana was intriguing. I kept asking myself what does the iguana has to do with the story, and in the end, I liked it because the iguana was the symbol of being bounded and being freed. The story emphasizes more on looking for help. The minister, Shannon, who had a nervous breakdown has some personal issues and struggles with self-discipline and self-respect (but would probably not want to admit it). He accompanies Maxine, the manager of a hotel, who recently lost her husband and also has some struggles of her own. It seems like Shannon is in some bad company: gossipy people who cannot sympathize or help him, and people who struggle with their own self-discipline and have no regard for Shannon, who (to complicate matters) has a reprehensible history. In contrast, there is the noble Hannah, who cares for her grandfather, who (she declares) is "ninety-eight years young." Funny, but at first I couldn't tell how old Hannah was. The way she acted made her seem young, but later I found out that the word "spinster" meant "old maid". (Oh, okay. I knew that...)
Perhaps it is the good arrangement of the plays, but the book was enjoyable in the end when it ends with Hannah, who has to endure so much, who helps others, and who willingly accept the reality without making a show out of it. Some parts of the book might have some of us shaking our heads, but it also lures me to write something about it. It's easy read, but one might want to consult the dictionary sometimes to fully understand the play. (-Or not. The choice is yours.)
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Read information about the authorThomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo (dedicated to his lover, Frank Merlo), received the Tony Award for best play.
Characters in his plays are often seen as representations of his family members. Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was understood to be modeled on Rose. Some biographers believed that the character of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire is also based on her.
Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was generally seen to represent Williams' mother, Edwina. Characters such as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Sebastian in Suddenly, Last Summer were understood to represent Williams himself. In addition, he used a lobotomy operation as a motif in Suddenly, Last Summer.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. These two plays were later filmed, with great success, by noted directors Elia Kazan (Streetcar) with whom Williams developed a very close artistic relationship, and Richard Brooks (Cat). Both plays included references to elements of Williams' life such as homosexuality, mental instability, and alcoholism. Although The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets was the preferred choice of the Pulitzer Prize jury in 1955 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was at first considered the weakest of the five shortlisted nominees, Joseph Pulitzer Jr., chairman of the Board, had seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and thought it worthy of the drama prize. The Board went along with him after considerable discussion.
Williams wrote The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer when he was 29 and worked on it sporadically throughout his life. A semi-autobiographical depiction of his 1940 romance with Kip Kiernan in Provincetown, Massachusetts, it was produced for the first time on October 1, 2006 in Provincetown by the Shakespeare on the Cape production company, as part of the First Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival.
Other works by Williams include Camino Real and Sweet Bird of Youth.
His last play went through many drafts as he was trying to reconcile what would be the end of his life. There are many versions of it, but it is referred to as In Masks Outrageous and Austere.