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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore / The…

por Tennessee Williams

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As mirrors of his emotional and imaginative life, the plays of Tennessee Williams explore the darker side of human nature and are haunted by the pervasive theme of loneliness that is humanity's inescapable destiny. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,one of his masterpieces, seethes with the family tensions, suppressed sexuality and the less-than-secret whisper of scandal that lie beneath the civilized veneer of the American South. The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymoreis a passionate examination of a woman's life as she recounts her memoirs in the face of death. In The Night of the Iguanaa group of diverse people are thrown together in an isolated Mexican hotel, all imprisoned in their own way.… (mais)
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Tennessee Williams

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Other Plays

Penguin Classics, Paperback [2001].

12mo. 339 pp.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first produced/published, 1955/1955.
The Night of the Iguana first produced/published, 1961/1962.
The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore first produced/published, 1963/1964.
This collection first published by Penguin, 1976.
Reprinted in Penguin Classics, 2001.

Contents

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


Person – To – Person*

Characters of the Play
Notes for the Designer
Editorial Note [by E. Martin Browne, October 1956]

Act One
Act Two
Act Three
Note of Explanation
Act Three (Broadway version)

*First published in the New York Times, March 20, 1955.

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

Author’s Notes

Prologue
Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four
Scene Five
Scene Six

The Night of the Iguana

[Author's Note]

Act One
Act Two
Act Three

Nazi Marching Song

================================================

If you want the three finest plays from Tennessee’s pinnacle of Broadway fame, this is the wrong volume. I would suggest another one. But if Tennessee Williams is a special writer for you, by which I mean something a lot more than just another name in your “Favourite Authors” list, then you cannot afford to miss this collection. It contains three plays as different in setting, characters and atmosphere as it is possible for a single writer to create. All three started as short stories but these, as I have argued briefly elsewhere, were changed out of recognition.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is by far the most famous of the three. It was Tennessee’s second most successful play on Broadway after Streetcar (1947) and by far his greatest success during the 1950s. I have little to say about it in addition to what I have recently said elsewhere.

A word more about the ending might be of interest. In the Broadway, Kazan-inspired ending, Maggie throws away Brick’s liquor and finishes with a sweet reference to his weakness, her strength and the title:

Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you – gently, with love, and hand your life back to you, like something gold you let go of – and I can! I’m determined to do it – and nothing’s more determined than a cat on tin roof – is there? Is there, baby?

Tennessee’s original ending, which he largely retained in his final revision of the text (1975), is slightly more ambiguous but not much different. One wonders why it has baffled critics and theatregoers alike. Maggie again takes away Brick’s liquor and rhapsodises about his beautiful weakness. “I do love you, Brick, I do”, she says. Brick smiles with “charming sadness” and replies with the famous but cryptic “Wouldn’t it be funny if that was true?” This is, of course, the same line that Big Daddy had used in the scene with the birthday cake when Big Mama declared she had always loved even “your hate and your hardness”. Both ladies are doubtless sincere. So is Big Daddy who cares no more, probably less in fact, about Big Mama than about a glass of bourbon. Brick is a more enigmatic figure and his relationship with Maggie is open to question.

In both cases there is little doubt about what will happen soon after the last curtain. The lie will be made true. In simple English, Brick will be raped until Maggie gets pregnant. Then, and only then, she would bring him his liquor and even get blissfully drunk with him. What is rather more uncertain, certainly much more than in the 1958 movie, is whether Brick and Maggie will survive as a couple. The child may work both ways. It may bring them closer than ever before or it may separate them for good. Well, that is up for you to decide personally. I, personally, enjoy Tennessee’s controlled ambiguity. As he said in one of his stirring essays:

You may prefer to be told precisely what to believe about every character in a play; you may prefer to know precisely what will be the future course of their lives, happy or disastrous or anywhere in between.

Then I am not your playwright. My characters make my play. I always start with them, they take spirit and body in my mind. Nothing that they say or do is arbitrary or invented. They build the play about them like spiders weaving their webs, sea creatures making their shells. I live with them for a year and a half or two years and I know them far better than I know myself, since I created them and not myself.


On the whole, I still think Kazan’s third-act changes are beneficial, but I am not so sure about Tennessee’s way of carrying them out. For example, the boisterous presence of Big Daddy certainly improves the last act, yet his bawdy elephant joke can be awkward. It takes a truly actor to make it work. The last act, in whatever version, is rather a letdown after the first two. The play as a total experience remains, for me, among Tennessee’s second best. I am sure it is better on the stage than on the page, but I am surer it is not better enough to make much of the verbose hysteria enjoyable.

Person – To – Person” is rightly included as a “bonus track”. It is an essential companion piece, not because it was written as a pre-opening piece, but because it is one of Tennessee’s most personal essays. Briefly, he argues that playwriting, and art in general, is really a form of self-indulgent exhibitionism, but the artist should never be satisfied with merely expressing his “sidewalk histrionics”. He should try to make his personal outlook universal. In other words, he should try to draw the largest possible number of people as active participants in his art. “I try very hard to do that”, he confides. The enduring success of his plays proves that he has succeeded. On the page or the stage, even his lesser works continue to stimulate, provoke, outrage, move.

The Night of the Iguana was the last Broadway success Tennessee ever experienced. It opened in the end of 1961 and lasted for nine months and 316 shows. Three years later, thanks to Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr, Ava Gardner and John Huston, it became a fine movie as well. But the play’s much bolder, of course.

Set in a “rather rustic and very Bohemian” hotel on the west coast of Mexico in 1940, when “the west coast of Mexico had yet to become the Las Vegas and Miami Beach of Mexico”, The Night of the Iguana is vintage Tennessee Williams. It is passionate, bawdy, atmospheric, poetic, metaphysical, symbolic, psychological, scatological, amusing and disturbing. It is all this, and much more, because Tennessee collected here three of his most unforgettable characters. There is no stranger love triangle in fiction than Shannon, Hannah and Maxine.

The Reverend Shannon is not defrocked, as he insists on pointing out. He is simply locked out of his church because he couldn’t resist the advances of very young women. He still can’t and that’s why he’s about to be charged with statutory rape when the play opens. He is also about to lose his job in Blake Tours. What a job it is! Showing around Mexico a “football squad” of schoolteachers from the Baptism Female College in Blowing Rock, Texas. Pretty miserable stuff for one who used to conduct world tours for Cook’s with “exclusive groups of retired Wall Street financiers”, not to mention the “noted world traveler, lecturer, son of a minister and grandson of a bishop, and the direct descendant of two colonial governors” who used to preach in Pleasant Valley, Virginia. It’s fair to say that Shannon is down and out.

Hannah is a New England spinster pushing on forty, a painter of watercolours and a travel companion of her grandfather, Nonno, who is “ninety-seven years young” and the “oldest living and practicing poet” in the world. Tennessee’s description of this unique creature cannot be bettered:

Hannah is remarkable-looking – ethereal, almost ghostly. She suggests a Gothic cathedral image of a medieval saint, but animated. She could be thirty, she could be forty: she is totally feminine and yet androgynous looking – almost timeless.

Well, that certainly raises some casting problems. Not that Shannon is any easier to cast. This is the great thing about the characters of Tennessee Williams. None of them is easy to cast. They are genuine human beings, full of contradictions, now exasperating and even despicable, then touching and admirable. They may often be pathetic and pitiful, but they are always more than that. They fight hard to survive. Sometimes they do.

Both Shannon and Hannah are survivors. Or are they? The ending contains a good deal of classic Tennessean ambiguity on this point. I won’t spoil it for you. But I’ll say their relationship is the backbone of the play. It covers a wide range from plain speaking to poetic paraphrase. When she is eager to peddle her watercolours (because she is broke), Shannon is brutal (because he is a brute): “By God, you’re a hustler, aren’t you, you’re a fantastic cool hustler.” She is not offended. She merely retorts: “Yes, like you, Mr Shannon.” But for the most part their conversation during “the night of the iguana”, a night for confessions and nothing but the truth, is more genial than that:

Shannon: You don’t disapprove of this weakness, this self-indulgence?
Hannah: Liquor isn’t your problem, Mr. Shannon.
Shannon: What is my problem, Miss Jelkes?
Hannah: The oldest one in the world – the need to believe in something or in someone – almost anyone – almost anything... something.

Hannah’s diagnosis is spot-on. Shannon has indeed lost his faith in God, at least in His benevolent version. He doesn’t seem to believe in anything else, least of all in his fellow human beings and their capacity for goodness. He is one of those “spooked and bedevilled people” who are condemned to travel not only on the earth’s surface, but also “through the... the unlighted sides of their natures.” Hannah wishes to help him, but whether her methods would be successful at all is anybody’s guess.

Tennessee makes these points through a number of his favourite symbols. Chief among them is the iguana from the title, tied up under the veranda and trying to break loose as we are all trying to break loose from our demons, be it fear of failure, unbearable loneliness or religious dogma (or many other things). When Shannon cuts his neck with the chain of his gold cross, this is nothing if not a telling symbol of the lacerations inflicted on him by religion. If that sounds too obvious, I’d say this is the point. The best symbols are the most obvious ones.

Maxine, the hotel proprietor, completes and complicates the triangle. She seems to be a simpler character, “bigger than life and twice as unnatural, honey” according to Shannon. But I am not sure about that. She is a recent, “rapaciously lusty” and not exactly inconsolable widow. (She is also described as “stout” which fits neither Bette Davis is the first production nor Ava Gardner in the movie, but never mind that.) She and Fred hadn’t had sex for ten years. It’s that simple. Only it isn’t:

Don’t misunderstand me about Fred, baby. I miss him, but we’d not only stopped sleeping together, we’d stopped talking together except in grunts – no quarrels, no misunderstandings, but if we exchanged two grunts in the course of a day, it was a long conversation we’d had that day between us.

She now has Mexican boys to satisfy her lust, but she feels all too well this is not enough. Pedro and Pancho don’t respect her, even though she is supposed to be their boss. She needs more and thinks – rightly or wrongly – she can find it in Shannon, an old friend of hers. She can be offhand and even rude, but deep inside she hides warmth and gentleness. She does accept Hannah and Nonno for free, if only for one night, even though she considers Hannah – rightly or wrongly – to be a rival for Shannon’s favours. She is ruthlessly honest with both of them:

Maxine: I got the vibrations between you – I’m very good at catching vibrations between people – and there sure was a vibration between you and Shannon the moment you got here. That, just that, believe me, nothing but that has made this... misunderstanding between us. So if you just don’t mess with Shannon, you and your Grampa can stay on here as long as you want to, honey.
Hannah: Oh, Mrs. Faulk, do I look like a vamp?
Maxine: They come in all types. I’ve had all types of them here.

Maxine: We’ve both reached a point where we’ve got to settle for something that works for us in our lives – even if it isn’t on the highest kind of level.
Shannon: I don’t want to rot.
Maxine: You wouldn’t. I wouldn’t let you! I know your psychological history.

One couldn’t help observing that Shannon is hardly such a fine catch for two strong and smart women to fight for. But, as Maxine wisely says, sometimes you come to a point in your life where you must take the second best. Strangely, Hannah says pretty much the same at another place when she tells a story with an “oriental moral”: accept what you cannot improve. Maxine is a pragmatist. She is a widow, no chicken (mid-forties) and certainly not rich. She could do worse than Shannon, and he sure can do a lot worse than her. Where does that leave Hannah? Well, read and see, or see on the stage and decide.

This fantastic trio (“fantastic” is Shannon’s favourite word) is set against a very authentic background which was drawn from life. Tennessee loved Mexico, never more than in the summer of 1940 when, at the age of 29, he made his first visit. He spent several blissful months on the west coast and discovered the setting of a play written two decades later. He described the experience vividly in “A Summer of Discovery”, an essay published in The New York Herald Tribune on 24 December 1961, four days before The Night of the Iguana opened in the Royale Theatre on Broadway.

The Night of the Iguana is rooted in the atmosphere and experiences of the summer of 1940, which I remember more vividly, on the emotional level, than any other summer I have gone through before or after – since it was then, that summer, that I not only discovered that it was life I truly longed for, but that all which is most valuable in life is escaping from the narrow cubicle of one’s self to a sort of veranda between the sky and the still water beach (allegorically speaking) and to a hammock beside another beleaguered being, someone else who is in exile from the place and time of his heart’s fulfilment.

In “The Catastrophe of Success”, another wonderful essay, Tennessee describes Mexico as “an elemental country where you can quickly forget the false dignities and conceits imposed by success”. In the same piece he also gives his idea of good working conditions: “a remote place among strangers where there is good swimming”. I suppose Mexico fit that bill pretty well, too. It was there, in the summer of 1945, that Tennessee began writing The Moth, the first version of what almost two years later became A Streetcar Named Desire.

Back to Iguana, Tennessee being Tennessee, he overdid the atmosphere a bit. There is one family of German tourists singing Nazi songs and listening to the news from Europe under the impression they are winning the Battle of Britain. So far as I can see, though I may be wrong of course, they serve no purpose whatsoever in the play. They are not even amusing.

But this is a small blemish to an otherwise outstanding play. As usual, I didn’t know how deeply it had struck until I started writing this review. Always trust Tennessee to stir your depths.

The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is quite possibly the worst choice of title in the whole bibliography of Tennessee Williams. It was also the beginning of his Broadway downfall. Despite the tantalising presence of Hermione Baddeley, it lasted only two months and 69 performances in the beginning of 1963. A revised version especially for Tallulah Bankhead, who had hankered after the play from the beginning, opened in January 1964 and lasted for... five shows.

Contrary to a popular myth, Tennessee’s early years on Broadway were not an unbroken chain of one smashing success after another. He followed the hugely successful Streetcar (855 shows) with the rather more lyrical Summer and Smoke (1948) which managed only 102 performances. Period of Adjustment (1960), a nice family comedy quite untypical of Tennessee, didn’t do much better than that: 132 performances. Camino Real (1953), a bizarre taste of things to come, and Orpheus Descending (1957), rewritten version of his youthful Battle of Angels (1940) which never saw the lights of Broadway, actually did even worse at the box-office than The Milk Train. They gathered only 60 and 68 shows, respectively. But with The Rose Tattoo (1951, 306 shows), Cat (1955, 694) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959, 375) under his belt, Tennessee could afford to snap his fingers at an occasional short run. Oddly enough, he didn’t. He was more cast down by the few mild flops than elated by the many hits. It was no heaven, but little did he know the real hell was about to break loose in the mid-1960s.

One can sympathise with the first audience of The Milk Train. It’s a weird play that became a much weaker movie, a one-woman show with nothing even remotely resembling plot, a surreal and stylised spectacle that must be entrancing on the stage but only with the right actress in the right production. The leading lady is especially important. She has a task that makes Blanche and Maggie look easy.

Sissy Goforth is quite a character! Tennessee loaded the dice against her in the first two scenes as relentlessly as Shakespeare did against the title character in the first two acts of King Lear. She comes off as obnoxious as only a faded celebrity writing her memories can be. Terribly superficial, too. Her greatest pride seems to be the costume ball at Cannes in 1924 when she created a mass hysteria as Lady Godiva half-naked on a white horse. “Men clutched at my legs, trying to dismount me so they could mount me. Maddest party ever, ever imaginable in those days of mad parties. This set the record for madness.” Talk about the Roaring Twenties!

In the third scene Flora Goforth meets the Witch of Capri. (The play is set at the so-called Divina Costiera, the Divine Coast, a somewhat loose term usually applied, I think, to the Amalfi Coast, just south of the Sorrento Peninsula and the island of Capri.) The Witch is apparently a woman much like Mrs Goforth: aged, ailed, flippant, flirtatious, bitchy, brutal. But there is a significant difference. This is revealed casually, as if by the way, when Mrs Goforth muses on the fleeting nature of our existence. She thus displays depth and complexity hitherto hardly suspected. Of course there are several hints in the first two scenes, as you might expect from a master craftsman like Tennessee, but to my mind this moment from the third scene is more revealing:

Has it ever struck you, Connie, that life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going? It’s really all memory, Connie, except for each passing moment. What I just now said to you is memory now – recollection. [...] Practically everything is a memory to me, now, so I’m writing me memoirs... [Points up.] Shooting star: it’s shot: – a memory now. Six husbands, all memory now. All lovers: all memory now.

The Witch, who is busy drinking martinis and thinking gossip, replies to all this with a polite interest in Flora’s memoirs. She is completely incapable of grasping the profound significance of these words. Perhaps Flora isn’t able to do that either, at least intellectually, but she can certainly feel it. The essence of this feeling, common to us all in one degree or another, is mightily difficult to put into words. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to do it. Tennessee did it himself in “The Timeless World of a Play”, one those beautifully written essays that are just as unique products of his mind as are the plays.

Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, we are all haunted by a truly awful sense of impermanence. I have always had a particularly keen sense of this at New York cocktail parties, and perhaps that is why I drink the martinis almost as fast as I can snatch them from the tray. This sense is the febrile thing that hangs in the air. Horror of insincerity, of not meaning, overhangs these affairs like the cloud of cigarette smoke and the hectic chatter. This horror is the only thing, almost, that is left unsaid at such functions. All social functions involving a group of people not intimately known to each other are always under this shadow.

I said the play is a one-woman show, but there is in fact one important male character. Christopher Flanders is a complicated creature, a strange mixture of kindness and callousness. He is a burnt-out poet who now, ten years after the publication of his first and only collection of poems, makes a living by offering companionship to dying old ladies. He has thus earned the nickname “Angel of Death”. Mrs Goforth is his next client. The last two scenes are dedicated mostly to their relationship: confrontation might be a better word. It is certainly no romance or seduction. It is much more complex than that.

Chris is not a passive character. He is a restless spirit in the middle, perhaps in the end, of a quest for personal fulfilment. In his own words, he gets “panicky when I have no one to care for.” This is not his vocation. This is his way to escape from – what? “Unreality! – lostness?” Even he finds it difficult to describe the problem, not to mention the solution. No doubt Tennessee felt the same way. All his life he struggled to define in dramatic form the essence of our existence. He came closer than usual with the character of Chris, puzzled and puny yet defiant and questing. The “Angel of Death” has a poetic speech in Scene Five which in itself is a fine description of our lives. As kittens and puppies curl up against each other to feel safe in their sleep and make great show during the day but really are alone and frightened of the mysterious house they live in, so do and are we all:

We’re all of us living in a house we’re not used to – too... A house full of – voices, noises, objects, strange shadows, light that’s even stranger – we can’t understand. We bark and jump around and try to – be – pleasingly playful in this big mysterious house but – in our hearts we’re all very frightened of it: don’t you think so? – Then it gets to be dark. – We’re left alone with each other: we have to creep close to each other and give those gentle little nudges with our paws and our muzzles before we can slip into – sleep and – rest for the next day’s – playtime... and the next day’s mysteries.

Last but not least, in a sense the most remarkable about him, Chris is a bit of a prude. When Mrs Goforth, as is her wont, tries to seduce him, he is quite impervious to her charms. I guess he was less prudish with his former clients, but even to them he offered first and foremost something much more than sex, something without which sex is no great shakes. In a word, companionship.

In a brilliant touch of dramatic irony, just after the speech quoted above, Tennessee brings back the Witch of Capri in Scene Five for an amiable altercation with the “Angel of Death”. She evidently takes him for nothing more than a gigolo who’s become too solemn, a leech who takes himself too seriously. This is at once a devastating confirmation of the Witch’s emptiness of soul – “the heart of a world that has no heart” in the scorching words of Chris – and another proof of the vast gulf that lies between her and Mrs Goforth.

For her part, Mrs Goforth does need somebody to take care of her loneliness, her insecurity, her fear of insincerity and her horror of death. The last of these is the most prominent. It runs like a macabre leitmotif through the whole play. It is first made clear in Scene One when Sissy suddenly apologises to Blackie, her secretary whom she generally treats like dirt, and confesses she is “scared” this might be her last summer. It comes forward much more forcefully in Scene Four when Mrs Goforth recalls the death of the husband she took her name from. Her constant denials that there is anything wrong with her, despite obvious medical evidence to the contrary, are nothing if not delusional. In the end, however, there is defiance – “Death – never even think of it” – which proves to be more than mere bravado.

It is no spoiler to say that Mrs Goforth dies in the end. This is made clear in the Prologue by the Stage Assistants, two curious fellows whom Tennessee describes as something “between the Kabuki Theatre of Japan and the chorus of Greek theatre.” Of course Spinoza was right that the free man thinks of nothing less than of death, but most of us, men and women, can hardly claim honestly to be that free, can we? We live in the shadow of death. Only children are blessed with a sense of immortality. The hardest part of growing up is to face one’s own mortality. Mrs Goforth faces her death with rare courage. Incidentally, this is the climax of the last scene, the only place where the play’s title is mentioned, and a neat explanation of the heroine’s name:

It’s my turn, now, to go forth, and I’ve got no choice but to do it. But I’ll do it alone. I don’t want to be escorted. I want to go forth alone. But you, you counted on touching my heart because you’d heard I was dying, and old dying people are your specialty, your vocation. But you miscalculated with this one. This milk train doesn’t stop here anymore.

It may be more than a coincidence that The Milk Train was the first play Tennessee wrote after the break-up with Frank Merlo, the long-term companion with whom he had spent 14 years. Tragically, Merlo was diagnosed with cancer and died soon after that, in September 1963. Tennessee cared for him until the end. If the play was finished before that, as it seems more probable, it was an eerie premonition of his best friend’s death. If it was revised later, as suggested by the “Author’s Notes” dated “August 1963”, then its macabre atmosphere was surely influenced by the ordeal. Either way, Merlo’s death must have shocked Tennessee profoundly. Five years passed until a new play by him opened on Broadway. This was The Seven Descents of Myrtle, a powerful work also known as The Kingdom of Earth and based on a story of the same name. It closed after only 29 performances.

Somewhat to my surprise, The Milk Train has been growing on me. The more I read it, the more I like it, the more strongly moved I find myself. (I must say the opposite is true of Cat: the more I read it, the more I’m bored by it, the more trivial it seems.) Sissy Goforth is not yet a tragic heroine. But she may become one on the next reading.

P.S. One last word about The Milk Train.

Tennessee evidently considered the play important. He spends a great deal of space on it in his Memoirs (pp. 187-88, 195-201). He hardly spends that much on Cat or Streetcar! Frustratingly, it is mostly off-stage trivia about productions and off-screen gossip about the movie. Some of it is charming. For instance, when Anna Magnani saw Hermione Baddeley as Flora Goforth at the Spoleto Festival, she was impressed enough to exclaim Come magnifica!, “and I knew she was referring to the star and not to the play.” He also mentions a “final version [...] for Michael York and Angela Lansbury” (p. 41), an interesting idea which, so far as I know, never materialised.

There are some deeper, if evasive, bits. The play, says Tennessee, “reflected so painfully the deepening shadows of my life as man and artist.” He was “fanatically obsessed with trying to say certain things”. He notes the obvious obsession with mortality and he describes in harrowing detail Merlo’s death on the intervening pages. No further elaboration. Perhaps none was possible. Tennessee should have been a composer. The language of words was too ambiguous for him.

At one place, Tennessee notes hopefully that the play is “likely to surface repeatedly, since female stars of a certain age have a rough time finding vehicles suitable to their talents, personalities, and their public images.” Two pages later, he is honest enough to admit that this “somewhat extravagant statement [...] has yet to be justified”. This was in the mid-1970s, when the play was but a decade old, but more than four decades later nothing has changed. But he remains convinced, and I quite agree with him, that the play is “a marvelous vehicle for an equally marvelous female star, and I don’t mean the planet Venus.” ( )
1 vote Waldstein | Nov 2, 2018 |
Three of Tennessee Williams' most explosive plays including his magnificent classic "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof". ( )
  Chris_V | Jun 7, 2009 |
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As mirrors of his emotional and imaginative life, the plays of Tennessee Williams explore the darker side of human nature and are haunted by the pervasive theme of loneliness that is humanity's inescapable destiny. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,one of his masterpieces, seethes with the family tensions, suppressed sexuality and the less-than-secret whisper of scandal that lie beneath the civilized veneer of the American South. The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymoreis a passionate examination of a woman's life as she recounts her memoirs in the face of death. In The Night of the Iguanaa group of diverse people are thrown together in an isolated Mexican hotel, all imprisoned in their own way.

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