Something Unspoken By Tennessee Williams Review!

Baby Doll and Other Plays (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Tennessee Williams]

 

Something Unspoken (1958) by Tennessee Williams is a great short play.

 

It follows the story of Miss Cornelia Scott who is an incredibly interesting protagonist. She has a relationship with her secretary Grace which may or may not be romantic or/and sexual. Tensions come to a height while the Daughters of the Confederacy elections occur. It is immensely intense and works superbly. A lot is packed into this, so much emotion and an atmosphere of the unspoken so the story lives up to the title.

Though it was never actually said, probably because of the times, I do believe the unspoken was Cornelia’s and Grace’s unspoken romantic and sexual feelings for each other. Williams shows the oppression they feel perfectly and I am sure it resonated with a lot of people back then and with a certain amount of people today despite times moving on. It is a gorgeous short play.

A must-read.

 

To purchase Something Unspoken (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

Summer And Smoke By Tennessee Williams Review!

 

Summer and Smoke (1945) by Tennessee Williams is a great play. This 2-part play was later rewritten by Williams as The Eccentricities of a Nightingale and put out into the world in 1964.

 

Set in Glorious Hill, Mississippi Alma Winemiller, a minister’s daughter, and John Buchanan Jr., a doctor are involved in a spiritual and sexual emotional situation with each other. That in and of itself was very modern first of all. Buchanan is Winemiller’s neighbour and she has always liked him. But she is looking for romance and he is looking for sex. He asks her to come to a hotel with him. Offended, she rejects his proposal. Undeterred, John has also an interest in Rosa Gonzales, daughter of a casino owner, and he and Rosa become engaged. Not happy about the news, Alma tells John’s father who has a fight with Rosa’s father and ends up dead after been shot. John begins to see things differently after this and becomes engaged to Nellie Ewell, a woman who is a former pupil of Alma’s and who he decides to try romance with. Alma tells him that she is up for both romance and sex but he has moved on. She decides to go have a purely sexual relationship with a salesman.

I like the way in this story Williams shows how those we meet can affect our lives and change our paths and minds. In negative, positive or neutral ways. That was very interesting. The characters are well rounded and fleshed out. Their conflicting feelings add a lot of depth to the story and show different sides and different perspectives very well. The dialogue is brilliantly done and flows with ease. The scenes are painted vividly so you can see the scenes before you. I liked the characters and the plot. It worked very well. I think it was also very interesting how Williams shows how both characters have many sides, feelings and opinions about non-platonic relationships which they explore at different times in their lives. It shows that your emotions can change and you don’t have to feel one way always because that’s how you were known to feel before, that you have that freedom to change your mind and I think that is a great message.

A must-read. Enjoyed it.

 

To purchase Summer and Smoke (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

 

 

 

Orpheus Descending By Tennessee Williams Review!

Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams

 

Orpheus Descending (1957) by Tennessee Williams is the author’s take on a contemporary version of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

 

This play took Williams seventeen years to write. Whoa, I know! So he was definitely extremely dedicated to this work. It is an amazing write and it is clear that a lot of work went into it. Set in a southern small town in America in the 1950s, the play takes place in a dry goods shop. It follows the romance of Val Xavier, a musician, who begins working at the shop and Lady Torrance who runs the shop. She has a husband Jabe Torrance who is dying. She begins an affair with Val and becomes pregnant. Carol, another woman in the town, is after Val too but he rejects her.

Lady feels trapped in her life. She sees freedom in Val and he makes her happier than she has been in a while but the story is not quite as simple as that. Lady finds out that her husband killed her father in the past because he was angered by her father creating businesses with black people. She plans to leave the town with Val but Jabe has other plans.

I love the chemistry between Val and Lady. I spent so much of this play rooting for them to be together forever. I found their relationship really beautiful and they seemed meant to be. The longing was intense. I was hoping all the time that they could get out of the town and start a new life together.

This play deals with many important topics. Racism is highlighted in the play. As previously mentioned, Lady’s husband killed her father because he worked with black people. There is also many other racists in the play who use racist language and Carol says she was supportive of a black man called Willie McGee who was sent to the chair for being with a white woman. The reference is to a real-life case in which a man called Willie McGee was sent to the chair after a white woman accused him of rape. He said they had been in a relationship for many years and that she accused him when he split up with her.

Attitudes to sexual relationships outside of wedlock is also highlighted. Lady is condemned by many in the town for having a sexual relationship with a man called David Cutrere before she married Jabe. Heaven knows what they would make of her sexual affair with Val!

The small-town vibe of conformity, narrow-mindedness and talking behind everyone’s backs is very well-written by Williams. The claustrophobic atmosphere is well depicted. Williams also shows that not everyone in the town is like this through Val, Lady and Carol. I was very fond of those three characters and thought it would be great if they were running the town!

I adored the play. It was amazing. It had romance, drama, tension and hard-hitting issues. Fantastic job. A must-read.

 

To purchase Orpheus Descending (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

The Rose Tattoo By Tennessee Williams Review!

The Rose Tattoo - Wikipedia

The Rose Tattoo (1951) by Tennessee Williams is a wonderful play by the author.

 

The play follows the story of the protagonist Serafina Delle Rose. She is an Italian woman and a seamstress who lives in a Sicilian community in Louisiana. She is pregnant and also has a daughter Rosa. She loves her husband Rosario to bits but Rosario is not what he seems. He is having an affair with a local woman Estelle and is a smuggler. After he is shot and killed by police, Serafina overhears some women who are neighbours discussing how they will break the news to her and her grief begins.

Her own past pain, because though she loved Rosario with all her heart she knew his faults even though she was in denial, also comes in her negative feelings when three years later Rosa meets a guy she loves called Jack. I also think the negative feelings are because she fears if Jack died, Rosa would go through the same pain she did. So it’s protective but it’s also stopping her daughter from happiness and Serafina does not communicate very well her fears through whatever. Pride? Fear to be honest about it? An I’m the Mother and I don’t have to explain myself attitude. Whatever the reason or reasons, her communication skills with her daughter are lacking severely which is unfair to Rosa. Williams brings many topics into this story such as family dynamics, immigration, sexuality and romantic feelings, communication issues, finding your place in the world, grief and mental illness.

I think it is an amazing play. I was engrossed in the characters and the plot from start to finish. The writing is gorgeously down-to-earth and the dialogue, which is especially the heart of a play, is amazing, spot-on and realistic. Williams didn’t stereotype the characters which was wonderful but not surprising either considering his boyfriend Frank Merlo was a Sicilian-American man from Louisiana and the play is based a lot on Merlo’s family history and background. The play is also dedicated to Merlo.

Beautifully written. Amazing job. A must-read. I loved it! 🙂

 

To purchase The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams