Posts Tagged ‘period of adjustment’


This book contains three of Tennessee Williams’ plays – the title play Sweet Bird of Youth, The Night of the Iguana, and Period of Adjustment. In Sweet Bird of Youth, a wannabe actor named Chance Wayne, returns to the town of his youth with an ageing actress. Chance wants to get back with his one true love, Heavenly Finley, but her family – and most of the rest of the town are not happy, and the violence simmering under the surface threatens to erupt.

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.

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