Each of these things shows a little of either Williams or someone that was important n his life. I will go in to detail on how these four aspects of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and how they relate to the emotions Of Tennessee Williams life. The first aspect I will discuss is the Poker Game and the similarities between it and Williams. In Scott W. Griffins article “A Streetcar Named Desire And Tennessee Williams’ Object-Relational Conflicts” he quotes Williams “Williams once told an interviewer: ‘My work is emotionally autobiographical.
It has no relationship to the actual events of my life, but it reflects the emotional currents of my life’ (Contemporary Literary Criticism, 1984)” (1 12). So none of the things that actually happened in the story were based on actual events but its based on emotions he felt throughout his life. For example: The Poker game. The first few years of Williams life were nice because his father was gone for his job so he was surrounded by soft hearted woman (Edwina, his mom; Rose, his sister; Grand, his grandmother) ‘Williams remembers these days as shrouded in kindness, sensitivity, and gentleness” (Griffins 1 14).
Then his father came home and it completely switched up everything, just like Stanley and the poker game. Griffins supports this in his article ‘When Cornelius came home, his explosive nature burst into the quiet, cultured serenity like Stanley poker game broke into Blanches quiet bath” (1 14). Tom L. Liverish also gives us some insight on this in his article “The Unknown Tennessee Williams” “Hard working and hard drinking, boisterous and coarse as ever, C [Cornelius] would still periodically storm the bastion of the Taking household and as quickly leave it in peace” (45).
The poker night might not have been a huge similarity between his life and the play but it was an important aspect. Stanley is more important in the play as well as who he represents in Williams actual life. In the play Stanley is the antagonist and Williams does not hold back with him. He has anger problems, he is a drunk, and he is controlling of everyone around him. Stanley is just like what Williams describes his dad as in his biography all the way down to the poker nights. In his biography it say “Williams father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was a boisterous, strong-willed man’s man” (Alleviate 2).
One similarity is that in the play Stanley gets mad cause Balance has moved in to the tiny apartment with him and Stella and is taking up all of Stall’s attention. Griffins says “From the start of Tom’s life, Cornelius was jealous of his wife’s affection for their new son Cornelius had lost his own mother to tuberculosis at the age of five, and when his attention needs went unmet, he was prone to rage and physical violence’ (1 15). Tennessee father isn’t the only one that has similarities in traits with Stanley. Williams himself has some of the same personality traits Stanley has in the play.
Especially in relationships Griffins supports this “Most of Williams legislations were fleeting and short lived. He could be the violent and sadistic Stanley, as in his relationship with Poncho y Rodriguez y Gonzales, a handsome young hotel clerk who came to New Orleans to live with him during the writing of the streetcar” (1 19). The last one and also the most complex and important one of the three is Balance. Balance is a very complex character in the play. She is secretive and doesn’t want people to see her in the light or know anything about her past at Belle Reeve.
She is made up of three people in Williams life: Himself, Rose and is mother. There is a lot of Williams in Balance, the main one being that she is a girl and he is a homo sexual. The next one was his promiscuity, because he lacked a real father figure he craved attention and the way he got that attention was the same way Balance got attention in the play; through short term sexual relationships. “Like Blanches, Williams promiscuity and hunger for short-term sexual partners was a prominent aspect of his life. ” Williams himself said “Sexuality is an annalistic emanation, as much for the human being as the animal. He said. Animals have seasons for it. But for me, it was a round-the-calendar thing” (Williams 53). He didn’t have any self-respect for himself so he tried to fill that void with sex just like Balance “he could be Balance, subjecting himself to aggressive rape and pursuing the repetitious consumption Of young boys” (Griffins 119). His mother Edwina was also apart of Blanches character. His mom escaped the troubles of her life by creating an illusion world where nice men replaced them all. Griffins supports this “Like Balance, Edwina was a model escape artist.
Her high strung, histrionic tauter had chased away many men, yet she kept herself narcissistically impervious to the injury by creating an illusion world where admiring gentlemen callers replaced any painful or unwanted realities” (1 18). The last person that helped build Blanches character is Rose. She had a mental illness when Williams was younger. Balance had her own mental fall out at the end of the play after she had been raped by Stanley and Stella wouldn’t believe her. She had already started to drift from reality when she got to New Orleans in the first place.
She lied so much about her life not because she didn’t want people to know about it but I think more because that’s how she wanted and wished it was. In the end she ended up breaking down and losing all sense Of reality somewhat like Rose did “Rose regressed into a delusional world of somatic illness and sexual immortality in her early twenties” (Liverish 247). These 3 people all have one thing in common that is so obvious in Blanches character and that is the want of a father figure. Rose, Williams, and his mother all just wanted attention and in the end it really messed them up.
Griffins also supports this “The hunger for a father’s security, strength, attention, and value that Williams made so apparent in Balance was painfully present in Rose, in Williams himself and in their mother” (1 19). In conclusion Tennessee Williams had a really hard early life and because of that hard early life the rest of his life wasn’t easy either. From being homosexual, to having an abusive father and then abusing sex, drugs and alcohol. That doesn’t make for a very pleasant life. And all of these things came out in the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”. The first one being the poker night, then Stanley, and Balance.