Book #22: The Night of the Iguana, by Tennessee Williams

Book #22: The Night of the Iguana, by Tennessee Williams

This is the last Williams play I’ll be reading for my Modern American Drama course, so the idea of moving onto something different is appealing. This wasn’t one of my favorites of his, but there’s some stiff competition when you consider how great The Glass Menagerie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and A Streetcar Named Desire are. This story is a bit strange; it actually reminded me a bit of Ernest Hemingway’s writing because it takes place in Mexico and the setting is rather crucial to the plot. Since all the other Williams plays I’ve read are set in the American South, this one certainly stands out as something very different.

I think the aspect of this play I didn’t like very much was that it’s hard to identify with a character you want to root for as a reader. In The Glass Menagerie, you have Laura who is perfectly innocent and sweet. In Streetcar, you have Blanche, who can certainly be trying, and Stella, who’s just trying to do her best. Here, though, I didn’t really find a character I could identify with, and I’m not really even sure who the protagonist is.

Later this afternoon, I’ll be watching the 1964 film adaptation that stars Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. I’m interested to see how the story plays on screen and if it will make more sense to me this way.

So, I’ve crossed another chunk of plays off my reading list. Good news, though: the next play we read is Death of a Salesman, which is probably my very favorite American play (unless that changes this semester). It’s always nice to return to something you love.


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