Suddenly Last Summer

by Tennessee Williams

Start Free Trial


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 194

Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams focuses on the life and death of Sebastian Venable, a poet who had a secret life as a gay man and is brutally murdered while on a trip to Italy with his cousin Catharine. Sebastian writes one poem every year. According to his mother, Mrs. Venable, it took Sebastian nine months to finish a single poem. Sebastian has a close relationship with his mother, and they travel to exotic locations regularly. During these trips, Sebastian uses his mother to lure young men. Mrs. Venable keeps her son’s secret safe to protect his reputation.

One day, Sebastian requests Catharine to travel with him to Italy where he also uses her to lure young men. During their visit, Sebastian is cannibalized and killed by a group of young men and Catharine witnesses the murder. Once Mrs. Venable realizes that Catharine knows Sebastian's secret and intends to reveal what happened to him, she tries to silence her to protect her son’s reputation. Mrs. Venable tries to convince Dr. Cukrowicz to perform a lobotomy on Catharine so that she can never reveal the events that led to Sebastian’s demise.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access