Summarize the way that the playwright uses dialogue to create character and mood in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.

Tennessee Williams used childish, frenetic dialogue to create farcical characters and a madcap mood in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.

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In 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, Tennessee Williams uses cantankerous, frenetic, and childish dialogue to create the play's rather ridiculous characters and tempestuous mood.

The hectic, loud mood starts immediately. The play begins with an exclamation. Flora screams, “Jake! I’ve lost m’ white kid purse!” The screams and the purse indicate that this play will not be quiet nor will it mainly focus on people who act like reasonable, rational adults. The two main characters are a little (perhaps more than a little) unhinged.

Even when Jake castigates Flora for screaming, he screams himself: “I don’t like how you holler!” yells Jake. “Holler ev’ry thing you say!” Jake and Flora’s reliance on exclamation marks add to their clamorous characters and the raucous mood of the play.

One could say that the play takes on the mood of an extended tantrum, which links back to the infantilism of the play. Flora’s kid purse and her desire for Coca-Cola (not to mention the lullaby at the end) points toward a prevailing immaturity. Jake’s dialogue reinforces this childishness. He calls Flora “baby” and uses juvenile words like “gobble.”

Williams then furthers the storminess of Jake and Flora by contrasting them with the more mild-mannered Silva Vicarro. Vicarro’s dialogue is not littered with exclamation points or kid-like language. His formal lines suggest the presence of a mature character. His somewhat gentlemanly dialogue might also hide the fact that he’s something of a predator.

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