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The Night Of The Iguana (edition 1961)
by Tennessee Williams (Author)
The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams (Author)
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This was the first play I've read by Williams. It had so many characters in it I'm really at a loss as to a synopsis. Basically, it is the story of Maxine, who is a widow who owns a hotel in a remote Mexican village. Many different people come to the hotel and they each have a story to tell, many not so nice. The title of the play takes its name from the Iguana tied up under the porch, which Maxine is fattening to kill and cook. Just as the iguana is always trying to get free, many of the hotel guests are also trying to get free from something. 191 pages
Williams was an expert at writing broken characters. This play includes a former minister, an old resort in Mexico, and a bus full of older tourists.
“I still say that I’m not a bird, Mr. Shannon, I’m a human being and when a member of that fantastic species builds a nest in the heart of another, the question of permanence isn’t the first or even the last thing that’s considered.”
A beautiful and powerful play; worth reading if you've seen the film because there are some differences.
An interesting play by Tennessee Williams that brings out some of his themes that are developed, in more detail, in his later plays. Nonetheless, a good read.
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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore / The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams
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Williams wrote: "This is a play about love in its purest terms." It is also Williams's robust and persuasive plea for endurance and resistance in the face of human suffering. The earthy widow Maxine Faulk is proprietress of a rundown hotel at the edge of a Mexican cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean where the defrocked Rev. Shannon, his tour group of ladies from a West Texas women's college, the self-described New England spinster Hannah Jelkes and her ninety-seven-year-old grandfather, Jonathan Coffin ("the world's oldest living and practicing poet"), a family of grotesque Nazi vacationers, and an iguana tied by its throat to the veranda, all find themselves assembled for a rainy and turbulent night. This is the first trade paperback edition ofThe Night of the Iguana and comes with an Introduction by award-winning playwright Doug Wright, the author's original Foreword, the short story "The Night of the Iguana" which was the germ for the play, plus an essay by noted Tennessee Williams scholar, Kenneth Holditch. "I'm tired of conducting services in praise and worship of a senile delinquent--yeah, that's what I said, I shouted! All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent and, by God, I will not and cannot continue to conduct services in praise and worship of this...this...this angry, petulant old man." --The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon, fromThe Night of the Iguana
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)812.54 — Literature English (North America) American drama 20th Century
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The start was slow, but by the third act I would have been unwilling to leave the theater without knowing what happened. I do think, as with all plays, this might appeal more when "seen" vs. "read". ( )