Those Southern writers–it seems like they are all filled with drama and theatricality. Appearances, tragedy and social position.
And those amazing accents!
I have to say that it can be really heavy, diving into the Southern drama. When I first started listening to the performance, I felt myself thinking, “Oh no, not another one of these depressing Southern Dramas.”
It was depressing. All the characters seemed so trapped. But the story showed about how people are.
It was incredible how much pressure was put on the son, the man of the family. I felt so sorry for him. He was the BREADWINNER, the one who had to make sure his family didn’t starve. Yikes! I’m really glad that we have more equal opportunity employment now. I would not want to depend on anyone to feed me.
Or have to feed other perfectly capable people, either. It made me realize that women in this story were not considered “perfectly capable.” They were supposed to be protected.
And Laura, the sister, sure seemed to need protection. Either that or a slap in the face. She couldn’t even bear to go to school and take an exam. All she had was her little collection of glass figurines.
But the mother! Whoa nelly! She was more capable than any of them. But she had appearances to keep up, and besides, she was a female and had limited earning potential.
She at least understood her handicap. She didn’t have any skills, but she wanted her daughter to be able to take care of herself. That’s why she tried to send Laura to vocational school.
But Laura was too helpless.
Everyone seemed to be focused on Males. The deadbeat dad, the breadwinning brother, the ‘gentleman caller.’
Not a place I’d want to be.
This particular version of the play was especially wonderful, because there is a recording of the author reading the last scene. His voice, with the accent, is so right for the dialogue.
If any actor wants to be in this play, they really should hear Williams himself reading the scene. It made it really come alive.
Also, Williams reads another short story of his at the end about the Yellow bird. It was a great treat that I wasn’t expecting.