Tennessee Williams

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What is Willams's main thesis in "The Catastrophe of Success" and how does he define success in the essay?

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Williams' thesis is that material success undermines the artistic temperament. He points out that the sudden wealth and status he gained after his play "The Glass Menagerie" was produced was disorienting at first, then became disgusting. He lost his ability to appreciate things, and found that even old friends began to treat him differently. He found, in short, that his life was taken over by his celebrity, and that the only way to escape was to retreat to a place (Mexico) where he was not known and could experience life as a regular person again. He points out that while it is easy to "collect royalty checks beside a kidney shaped pool in Beverly Hills," real success is the "obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction" that he claims the source of all great art.

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Tennessee Williams's essay "The Catastrophe of Success" is an introspective reflection on Williams's journey to fame and riches after the success of his play The Glass Menagerie ....

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