Both trends will prove recurrent in Williams' character, and have roots in his most defining experiences and values. The drive to create is clear, and rarely does Williams talk about a piece of his work in the journals without immediately judging it. He seems fairly candid in his appraisals: they range from pretty cheap and a lot of trash to very successful and lovely (though these judgments are not always entirely indicative of the work the public would deem most promising: his evaluation of the play Poker Night was that it was a relative success, not pleasant but well-done. I think it will make good theatre, though its success is far from assured (1, 457)... this play would later be renamed A Streetcar Named Desire. This is, however, after the immense success of The Glass Menagerie, and we will find that his perceptions are altered significantly by his elevation to celebrity).
[...] Williams did not understand 85)). In the second example, poetry serves as a way of coaxing meaning from a particularly difficult mental quandary, and thus furthers the idea that Williams used his work as a type of therapy. This idea of Williams using art as a salve may seem unincorporated with the rest of the profile of the artist laid out here; in the primary struggle between transcendence through success in art and death through defeat in art, there seems little place for art to take on a pseudo-medicinal connotation. [...]
[...] He describes that as he was bedridden for long periods he would have to entertain himself, and how his fawning mother's “overly solicitous attention planted in me the makings of a sissy, much to my father's discontent” 12). One should most likely be wary of finding anything too far-fetched in this description of a childhood incident that might lend it an assumed greater significance than it warrants, but perhaps the explanation of the event in itself is grounds for inspection. [...]
[...] This void where once there was fire greatly disturbed Williams over the coming months, and reveals the presence of the dilemma mentioned earlier of how to continue once one is offered a chance at immortality and may solidify or crush it with one's next professional move. With the relative indifference of Critics to You Touched the collaborative work that premiered after The Glass Menagerie, Williams was assured that his name did not equate to invincibility. As he continued to work on his follow-up, he was met with fierce internal resistance (sometimes externalized: in Memoirs he recounts how after reading a draft of Summer and Smoke to an acquaintance, the young man balked and mused, could the author of The Glass Menagerie write such a bad play as 109)). [...]
[...] To further elaborate on this second theme one can turn back to a Streetcar Named Success,” wherein Williams likens a man in a life without conflict to sword cutting daises” 21) and promptly suggests this remedy: The public Somebody you are when you ‘have a name' is a fiction created with mirrors and the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath and which is the sum of your actions and so is constantly in a state of becoming under your own volition and knowing these things, you can even survive the catastrophe of Success! [...]
[...] A part of this upheaval is a result of his lover during much of the period between Menagerie and Streetcar, Pancho Rodriguez. Williams describes him as temperamental and a severe alcoholic prone to violence when under the influence, and in the same entry as above he mentions the very common line throughout the journals that he “quarreled with Pancho” 453) recently. Pancho (in addition to elements of Williams's father) appear in the violent, impulsive, immensely attractive Stanley Kowalski, the character who becomes Blanche's nemesis in Streetcar. [...]
using our reader.