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Mississippi-born writer Tennessee Williams, one of America's most cele

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Mississippi-born writer Tennessee Williams, one of America's most cele  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 10:41
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Mississippi-born writer Tennessee Williams, one of America's most celebrated playwrights, created some of the most triumphal dramas in American theater. His twenty-five full-length plays contain characters trapped in a world that often neglects and even punishes those who dream of escaping their circumstances. Fellow playwright Arthur Miller once said, "Tennessee wanted not to approve or disapprove, but to touch the germ of life and to celebrate it with verbal beauty." Williams's works reveal the disturbing complexities of the human condition with honesty and lyrical understanding.

Perhaps more than any other dramatist, Tennessee Williams inscribed his personal life---including his lifelong struggles with substance abuse---into his scripts. The Glass Menagerie, his first critical success, is a story of people too fragile to deal with the realities of their own lives. Williams's characters were inspired by members of his own family. The Glass Menagerie served as a model for many of the autobiographical dramas that followed it.

Prior to Menagerie, the Broadway play emphasized plot. But Williams pushed language to center stage. His characters' lines are fluid, idiomatic, full of imagery, and rhythmically composed. His use of symbolism invests his characters with mythic dimension. A rose, a bird, and a cat take on metaphorical significance in his other plays. While Williams uninhibitedly aired the "closets, attics and basements of human behavior," he treated his characters with compassion. His works also addressed issues such as sexuality and neurosis that had previously been taboo subjects.


With which of the following statements regarding the impact that Tennessee Williams had on the American theater would the author most probably agree?

a. Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie generated an entirely new kind of play called the autobiographical drama.
b. No other playwright has been able to achieve the linguistic innovation that Tennessee Williams achieved.
c. Tennessee Williams's work re-defined the scope of the American theater.
d. Before The Glass Menagerie, symbols and imagery had never been used to develop multi-faceted characters.
e. Tennessee Williams's works are essentially concerned with the pain and confusion of being alive


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New post 02 Oct 2018, 18:17

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 18:59
Answer A is incorrect because the passage does not say that Tennessee Williams created the autobiographical drama. Choice B is also wrong because it is too extreme to reasonably conclude that no other playwright has matched Williams's linguistic prowess. Answer C is correct because Williams Tennessee explored "issues of sexuality and neurosis" that had not yet been represented on stage. He was also a linguistic innovator. These two elements constitute a redefinition of the possibilities for American playwrights. Like answer B, answer D is too extreme. We cannot conclude that symbols and imagery had never been used before The Glass Menagerie. Choice E should be eliminated because the passage never states that Tennessee Williams's plays are so bleak.
Correct Answer should be C
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Re: Mississippi-born writer Tennessee Williams, one of America's most cele &nbs [#permalink] 02 Oct 2018, 18:59
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