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Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three foremost playwrights in 20th century American drama.
After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with The Glass Menagerie (1944), closely reflecting his own unhappy family background. This heralded a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). His later work attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences, and alcohol and drug dependence further inhibited his creative output. His drama A Streetcar Named Desire is often numbered on the short list of the finest American plays of the 20th century alongside Long Day’s Journey into Night and Death of a Salesman.
Much of Williams’ most acclaimed work was adapted for the cinema. He also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, four years before his death, Williams was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
SO why did I want you to know all that about Tennessee Williams? Because I wanted you to understand (after the references above to all his dramatic plays — STELLA!!!) why I believe what he says in the quote I chose for today.
I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.
I love this quote because if anyone knew people inside and out it was Williams. I’ve always felt like such a weakling as I’ve cowered in the corner of my own little world, scared to death to venture out in the unknown. But this quote makes me feel like maybe I’m not such a hopeless case after all. Maybe, just maybe there’s a little more to me than what I give myself credit for.
I’m still open to that possibility!