He had what was described as a rough childhood as he was often described as being effeminate which his father, an alcoholic did not approve of, and his mother was described as being bipolar. Tennessee had a close relationship with his sister ‘Rose’ who later in life was discovered to be schizophrenic and spent much of her life in mental institutions. It was the case that Tennessee’s fear of falling into madness would plague him in later life and ultimately lead him into alcoholism and drug abuse. Rose ultimately had a lobotomy performed on her which left her more or less docile for the rest of her life.
When Tennessee was young, his family moved to St. Louis where he attended Soldan High School . It became clear at an early age that Tennessee was a gifted writer and won a number of small awards for his short stories and plays. Tennessee attended the University of Misouri, Washington University, and the University of Iowa where he completed his undergraduate studies but by the late 1930’s he was studying and living in New York City.
Probably what proved to be most influential on the writings of Tennessee Williams was living in New Orleans where in the late 1940’s he began writing a Streetcar named Desire arguably one of his most famous works. It was during this time that Tennessee began a homosexual relationship wit a man named Frank Merlo. As one recognizes from the works of Tennessee Williams it is the case that he often used alcoholism, mental health issues, and homosexuality as cornerstones of his works. However it was during the time that Tennessee was living with Merlo that he arguably completed his most notable works, arguably this is owing to the relative stability that this relationship brought to his life.
According to the library at thinkquest (2010) it is the case that Williams had published thirty eight plays, nine works of fiction, and