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STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

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Reports & Essays: Literature - Plays

"AND""OR"

Past Meridian
The play, "Past Meridian" by Martin Williams, deals with the sensitive issue of homosexuality. Two of America's most respected authors, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, have a chance encounter. Their conversation at first deals with superficial matters but in time it becomes more serious and retrospective and both men reveal their inner struggles and emotional conflicts that they have never shared with anyone. Tennessee Williams is portrayed throughout the play as a man who had a somewhat contrasting life style between what was natural to him and what the South expected of him. For example, Williams was gay. He first realized this when he began to feel a strong attachment for a boy named Gordon at a summer camp. He was only 15 at the time and didn't understand the feelings he was experiencing for he had never heard of such feelings for a boy. He was confused and depressed because he was different from what the South stood for in this respect. Yet, other than this, he did share much of the same values of his native homeland. He wore a yellow ribbon around his neck, a clean white shirt and tan pants; all straight and defined as was his southern style. His other problem which made him different was the lack of a male role model as his father was an alcoholic who abused him. He hated his father and developed a very close relationship with his mother. Ernest Hemingway, believes that he is vastly different from Tennessee Williams, but in time he comes to realize that they share a common battle. Ernest Hemingway is depicted as a man who enjoys being a "traditional man" -- drinking beer and relaxing smoking a pipe. On the other hand Tennessee Williams is a very straight-laced and smooth-talking individual who is not fond of beer. In contrast to Tennessee William's mother, Ernest's mother was a mean and cruel woman. Ernest refers to Williams's mother as a "bitch" when Williams described his mother as "a woman who would bake the finest cookies in the south." Hemingway and Tennessee WIlliams have one thing in common -- they both love men. Hemingway, like Williams, had a love in his life who was named Karl. Karl was the bullfighter depicted in Ernest's book, "The Bullfighter." Hemingway describes him as a "beautiful man." Yet no one knows this bit of information which is kept in Ernest's closet. Now, Hemingway reveals his secret to Tennessee Williams. All of these events add to a collision course between two great authors, or better yet, two confused men. "Prime Meridian" is a play about two men who come to understand themselves and their innermost thoughts and feelings through monologues and arguments with each other.

"For complete summary and analysis of literary works, please visit NovelGuide.com

 



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