Tennessee Williams Questions and Answers

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Tennessee Williams Writing Style

What is Tennessee Williams' literary style?

I need to compare Williams to Eugene O’Neill.

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Williams came to prominence at a crucial time in American culture when the public consciousness was being transformed with regard to sensitive issues such as sexuality. He provided an "opening up" of the acceptable subjects that could be dealt with dramatically, specifically in women's issues and gay themes.

His central characters are usually women who have some form of extreme trauma in their past or have been rejected by men or society at large. This is true of Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and other somewhat less well-known heroines such as Alma in Summer and Smoke and both leading women characters in Sweet Bird of Youth. At the same time, the previously unmentionable subject of homosexuality appears in Williams's literature repeatedly. The women themselves are not gay, but often the men in their lives have been gay or are attempting to sublimate their gay tendencies, as Blanche's former beau has done and as Brick in Cat on a...

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