The naturalistic symbolism conveys the idea of inhumanity of exploiters, shifts the accents from the conditions, turning man to a beast to the biological characteristics.
In his work of 30-40’s experiment takes to realism.
“The Great God Brown”
He resorted to various techniques of modern theatre – psychoanalysis, inner monologue, mask theatre.
His masterpiece is trilogy “Mourning Becomes Electra”. Here he develops classical notion of the tragic & transfers it to American soil of the civil war period. He takes an eternal conflict & puts it to America. Histories of O’Neill’s characters are compared to the lives of Electra, Orestas, Clitemnestra. But the environment is different.
Later he intended to write a saga about wealthy people. It materialized in two plays:
“A Touch of the Poet”
“More Stately Mansions”
O’Neill showed how several generations of American families gradually lose their values, their destines mingle. Individual lives become part of national history.
The plays crowning his career are “A Moon for the Misbegotten”, “Long Day’s Journey into Night”. The latter is the most autobiographical.
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
He is a southerner born in Columbus, Missouri, where his grandfather was the Episcopal clergyman. When he was 12 his father who was a travelling salesman moved with his family to St. Louis, & both he & his sister found it impossible to settle down to the city life. He entered college during the Depression & left after a couple of years to take a clerical job in a shoe company. He stayed there for two years, spending the evenings writing. He entered the University of Iowa in 1938 & completed his course, at the same time holding a large number of part-time jobs of great diversity. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1940 for his play “Battle of Angels” & he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 & 1955.
In 1940 he started journey around the country & ended it up in New York. There he wrote poetry & short stories. 1945 – his first success “The Glass Menagerie”. Autobiographical elements are very strong in the play. Williams managed to create a special lyrical atmosphere of the Wickfield family. It consists of three people – mother, crippled daughter & son. Each of them lives in his or her own glass menagerie i.e. imaginary world which has nothing to do with reality. They fear the reality, its hoarse & repulsive jungle for they cannot adjust to the law of these jungles. Main idea is that kindness & good feelings are doomed in clash with reality. These people are too fragile, too sensitive.
The play introduced features of new plastic theatre. The principles of this theatre Williams formulated in the afterward to the play “Note for Reproduction”. It is characterized by tense emotional atmosphere, certain romanticism, masterly music & light effects, attention is given to cinography & attraction of expressive means of other arts. In stage remarks Williams is scrupulous about details for they bear important meaning. he calculated to produce certain effect on the audience.
His second play “A Streetcar Named Desire” gained him a reputation of leading stage writer & Pulitzer Prize. In this play there is a clash between realism & imagination; physical forces, brutishness & helplessness; sexual drive &thirst for poetic love; naked ugly truth & illusion, world of fantasy. The main character is Blanche du Beau. The action takes place in New Orleans in French quarters (it is often compared to the “Cherry Orchard” by Chekhov). Blanche visits her sister’s family after their parents died & the family estate is sold. Blanche wears old ridiculously looking dresses as a symbol of the world she lives in. Blanche meets her sister’s brute of a husband Stan. Her sister gets out of the way to the hospital to give birth to a baby. Blanche and Stan detest each other. He hates a woman who lives in Ivory tower & she hates his brutishness. She denies & longs for him at the same time. In the end he is taken into lunatic asylum.
Williams plays with human subconsciuosness. But he finds that the core of the conflict is not inherent in the struggle between masculine & feminine but a complex interrelation of personal circumstances: social & others.
Tennessee Williams’ human type is an outcast, lonely, constantly in search of a relative soul with whom to share a burden of loneliness. But life is such that the outsider is doomed to defeat. The only salvation is love (but even this is questionable). Broken & lost people who are not able to defend themselves & their dreams can find love that will help them to sustain.
Ðåôåðàò îïóáëèêîâàí: 31/01/2010