Tennessee Williams Short Fiction Analysis
Although during his lifetime Tennessee Williams was commonly held to be without peer among America’s—many would say the world’s—playwrights, he began his career writing short fiction, with a story entitled “The Vengeance of Nitocris” in Weird Tales in 1928. As late as 1944, when his first theatrical success was in rehearsal, George Jean Nathan reportedly observed that Williams “didn’t know how to write drama, that he was really just a short-story writer who didn’t understand the theatre.” In proportion to the worldwide audience familiar with Williams’s dramas, only a handful know more than a story or two, usually from among the ones later transformed into stage plays. Seven of Williams’s full-length dramas, in fact, had their genesis in the fiction: The Glass Menagerie in “Portrait of a Girl in Glass”; Summer and Smoke (1947) in “The Yellow Bird”; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in “Three Players of a Summer Game”; The Night of the Iguana and Kingdom of Earth (1968) in stories of the same names; The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1963) in “Man Bring This Up Road”; and Vieux Carré (1977) in “The Angel in the Alcove” and “Grand.”
“The Night of the Iguana”
The play The Night of the Iguana is sufficiently different from its progenitor to indicate how Williams rethought his material in adapting it to another...
(The entire section is 2952 words.)
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