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Sweet Bird of Youth / Period of Adjustment / The Night of the Iguana (1972)
by Tennessee Williams
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The Theatre of Tennessee Williams (Volume 4)
'He is, quite simply, indispensable' Peter Shaffer Loneliness, sexual tension and the need for human kindness pervade these three plays by Tennessee Williams, as their characters rage against personal demons and the modern world. In 'Sweet Bird of Youth' a drifter, Chance Wayne, returns to his home town with an ageing movie actress in search of the girl he loved in his youth, but with terrible, violent results. 'Period of Adjustment' tells the story of two young newlyweds who visit the husband's old army friend on Christmas Eve after unsuccessfully consummating their marriage, and unleash forbidden passion, while in 'The Night of the Iguana' a diverse group of people, including a disturbed ex-minister and a troubled spinster, are thrown together in an isolated Mexican hotel for one eventful night. Sweet Bird of Youth/Period of Adjustment/The Night of the Iguana
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)812.54Literature English (North America) American drama 20th Century
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
In Period of Adjustment, newlyweds George and Isabel visit George’s old Korean war friend Ralph. The marriage has not got off to a good start, and it soon transpires that Ralph has marital problems of his own.
In The Night of the Iguana, a disgraced priest named Lawrence Shannon, has taken on a job escorting coach tours, and brings a coach load of his charges to a Mexican hotel, where he knows the owner. The all-women clientele on the coach hate Shannon as he has had relations with a 16 year old girl on the tour. Another lady named Hannah checks into the hotel with her elderly grandfather, and there is a connection between her and Shannon.
The theme that ripples through each of these plays is frustration at missed opportunities, and regret at bad decisions, which often manifests itself as anger. The writing is beautiful at times, and incredibly sad. But worth reading. Tennessee Williams really digs down into the human psyche and writes without judgement.
Not the most uplifting of reads, but definitely well worth a look. ( )