A man who is a great writer may only be known to some people as a man who has a creative mind and a skilled hand. People rarely see the true life of their favorite author. Plunging into the lives of other people can open a new perspective for an aspiring young writer. Tennessee William’s writing and lifestyle influenced a new age for American literature.
Thomas Lanier Williams was born on February 23, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi, to Cornelius and Edwina Williams. Thomas was given the nickname Tennessee later in his life. Tennessee had a brother, Dakin, and a sister named Rose. Edwina and Rose both had forms of poor mental health. Rose was a schizophrenic who often had breakdowns. The Williams family was very wealthy, the money coming from Edwina’s side of the family. They moved to St. Louis when Tennessee was seven years old so Cornelius could become an executive for a shoe company. Though Tennessee stayed in St. Louis for several more years, he lived in sixteen different houses before he had turned fifteen years old. This made Williams a compulsive traveler in his later years.
Tennessee and his father never had a close bond. Cornelius always wanted Tennessee to be involved in sports, but Tennessee only wanted to write. His father resented the fact that Tennessee was not like his brother, Dakin. It was very apparent to others that Cornelius’s favorite child was his daughter, Rose. He knew Rose had an unstable mind, but he never wanted to admit it to himself. Unfortunately, one night Cornelius and Edwina got into fight which scared Rose. Cornelius went to Rose to try and calm her down, but she took his actions as a sexual advancement towards her. Because of this, Rose had a severe mental breakdown. Her mother made the decision, without Cornelius, to have Rose lobotomized. The lobotomy failed and resulted in Rose becoming incapacitated. Cornelius and Edwina sent Rose to a mental institution shortly after. When Tennessee heard of what had happened, he was infuriated and never forgave his parents.
Tennessee traveled with his grandfather to Europe, where he was inspired by it’s culture and atmosphere and started writing poetry. His newfound love of poetry made him apply to the University of Missouri. However, he made poor grades during his first year there, so his father made him work in his shoe factory. Tennessee hated working for his father in the shoe company so much that he would regularly get sick just thinking about the place. One day at work, he collapsed due to his exhaustion. His father did not make Tennessee return to work at the shoe factory. Tennessee decided to go back to school and went to the Washington University in St. Louis and later received his degree from the University of Iowa. After graduating, he decided to travel around the country and then back to Europe.
It was during this time that Williams was beginning to open up about his sexuality. Tennessee had known for years that he had a special interest in men. He began...