Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2016

Review: Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Throughout his career, Tennessee Williams had written plays that deal squarely with his interest in violence. Violence not of a senseless, excessive kind but one that is nevertheless destructive, and targeted most of all to bring out the vulnerability of the others. The lack of any outrage that attended his violent plays emboldened him in furthering his involvement with graphic materials, and it climaxed with the release of Suddenly Last Summerin 1958, a one-act play that draws on issues like lobotomy and cannibalism. Williams was almost certain then that he’d be tarred and feathered, but the play proved a commercial and critical success. This says much about the social currents of the time, which fed on narratives like that to help coping with the bitter reality and malaise. In this case the public was obviously taken to Williams’s measure of honesty, savagery and explosiveness.
In the preface of Sweet Bird of Youth Williams attributes his propensity of violence to a means “to contend…