Style and Technique

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Writing as though recounting events in the lives of a rather average group of college students, Williams never intimates any underlying meanings. He simply describes occurrences in an orderly fashion, waxing only somewhat poetic in his description of the field of blue flowers itself. Here the wind rustling through the flowers sends up “a soft whispering sound like the infinitely diminished crying of small children at play.”

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Through its characterizations, however, the story has psychological depths typical of all of this author’s work. Homer lives in a basement room and does menial work, but he is able to express great beauty through his poetry. He seems inarticulate, clumsy, and embarrassed much of the time, but when Myra gives him the opportunity, his underlying passion erupts with great force.

Kirk, on the other hand, is given short shrift as a character, perhaps put into the story merely to contrast with Homer. He meekly accepts what he sees of Myra’s behavior but fails to recognize what really motivates or troubles her.

Myra, like many of Williams’s female characters, is capable of deep emotion but is fearful of living outside what she perceives as the decrees of her society.

As a group, these characters subtly represent the author’s view of people. Most are fearful of taking up the really difficult challenges; most prefer to repress their deepest passions; and most settle for a calm, relatively uneventful life, bypassing, without regret, the fields of blue flowers.

Bibliography

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206

Bloom, Harold, ed. Tennessee Williams. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003.

Crandall, George W. Tennessee Williams: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.

Heintzelman, Greta, and Alycia Smith Howard. Critical Companion to Tennessee Williams. New York: Facts On File, 2005.

Kolin, Philip, ed. Tennessee Williams: A Guide to Research and Performance. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Kolin, Philip, ed. The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Leverich, Lyle. Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams. New York: Crown, 1995.

Martin, Robert A., ed. Critical Essays on Tennessee Williams. New York: G. K. Hall, 1997.

Pagan, Nicholas. Rethinking Literary Biography: A Postmodern Approach to Tennessee Williams. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1993.

Rader, Dotson. Tennessee: Cry of the Heart. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985.

Roudané, Matthew C., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Spoto, Donald. The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1997.

Thompson, Judith. Tennessee Williams’ Plays: Memory, Myth, and Symbol. Rev. ed. New York: P. Lang, 2002.

Tischler, Nancy Marie Patterson. Student Companion to Tennessee Williams. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Williams, Dakin, and Shepherd Mead. Tennessee Williams: An Intimate Biography. New York: Arbor House, 1983.

Woodhouse, Reed. Unlimited Embrace: A Canon of Gay Fiction, 1945-1995. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

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