New Plays: The Seven Descents of Myrtle

Tennessee Williams is a regional play wright in a far subtler sense than that of merely creating bizarre Southern characters. Until recent decades, the mind of the South had been haunted by the disastrous defeat of the Civil War and by memories of pre-bellum graciousness, leisure and glory. The hab it of viewing human beings as wound ed by life, just as the South was wounded by history, permeates Williams' plays.

From the beginning his characters have been great reminiscers. In The Glass Menagerie Amanda cherishes the "one Sunday afternoon" she entertained "17 gentleman callers." Blanche DuBois reveres the...

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