Volume 8, Issue 5, September 2020, Page: 161-167
Study on the Ethical Dilemma of the “Marginal People” in Tennessee Williams’ Plays
Liu Maosheng, Faculty of English Language and Culture, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
Luo Keman, Foreign Languages Collage, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China
Received: Jul. 20, 2020;       Accepted: Aug. 3, 2020;       Published: Sep. 24, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.hss.20200805.15      View  290      Downloads  147
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is an important playwright in the post-war American theatre. He wrote at least 70 plays in his life, totally winning him four New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes and other various theatre awards. Unlike the great realist playwrights such as Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller who mainly focus on the tragedies of ordinary people, Williams turned his attention to “marginal people” who live solitarily and vulnerably in the dark corners of society, forgotten and even abandoned mercilessly by us. Taking them as eternal protagonists in his plays, Williams tells the tragic life of these neglected groups. In the light of Ethical Literary Criticism, this paper mainly analyzes the “marginal people” in Tennessee Williams’ the three most representative plays, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, from three aspects: the complicated ethical environments, the ethical identity crises, and the destructive ethical choices of the “marginal people”, the purpose of which is to reveal the root causes of the tragic life of the “marginal people” and Williams’ great ethical concern as a playwright. Williams hopes that we can be kind and tolerant to our compatriots, giving understanding and love to the absurd world and the meaning of life, so that the “marginal people” can be completely saved. At the same time, he also warns that those who are experiencing the marginalized experience cannot give up their own salvation——facing positively and re-embracing the world is the most correct choice.
Tennessee Williams, “Marginal People”, Plays, Ethical Environment, Ethical Identity, Ethical Choice
To cite this article
Liu Maosheng, Luo Keman, Study on the Ethical Dilemma of the “Marginal People” in Tennessee Williams’ Plays, Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 8, No. 5, 2020, pp. 161-167. doi: 10.11648/j.hss.20200805.15
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