How to Read Spring Storm, a Lost Masterpiece by Tennessee Williams, in PDF Format
Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams: A Lost Gem of American Drama
Have you ever heard of Spring Storm? If not, you are not alone. This play by Tennessee Williams, one of the most celebrated American playwrights of the 20th century, was written in 1937 when he was still a student at the University of Iowa. However, it was rejected by his professors and never produced during his lifetime. It was only in 1996 that it was rediscovered and staged for the first time by the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. Since then, it has gained recognition as a valuable addition to Williams' oeuvre and a fascinating insight into his early development as a writer.
spring storm tennessee williams pdf download
Spring Storm is a four-act drama that revolves around a love quadrangle among four young people in a small town in Mississippi in the 1930s. It explores themes such as sexual repression, social class, romantic idealism, and mortality with Williams' characteristic poetic language and emotional intensity. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of the plot, the characters, and the themes of the play, as well as some historical context and information on how to download the PDF version of the script.
The Plot of Spring Storm
The play begins with a scene between Heavenly Critchfield, a beautiful but bored upper-class girl, and Dick Miles, a handsome but poor librarian who is madly in love with her. Heavenly is engaged to Arthur Shannon, a wealthy but dull businessman who is away on a trip. She tells Dick that she loves him too, but she cannot marry him because of their different social backgrounds. She also reveals that she is pregnant with Arthur's child and plans to have an abortion.
Dick is devastated by this news and tries to convince Heavenly to run away with him. He also confides in his friend Hertha Neilson, a plain but intelligent girl who secretly loves him. Hertha is a radical feminist who despises the patriarchal society they live in. She encourages Dick to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer and to leave Heavenly behind.
Meanwhile, Heavenly's mother Esmeralda Critchfield is determined to make her daughter marry Arthur and secure their family's status. She invites Arthur to their home for dinner and tries to persuade him to set a date for the wedding. However, Arthur is not interested in Heavenly anymore. He has fallen in love with another woman in New Orleans and wants to break off the engagement.
The play reaches its climax when Heavenly decides to go through with the abortion without telling anyone. She asks Dick to take her to the clinic in his car. On their way, they are stopped by a storm that forces them to take shelter in an abandoned cabin. There, they confess their true feelings for each other and make love. However, their happiness is short-lived when Arthur arrives at the cabin with a gun. He has followed them from town after learning about Heavenly's pregnancy from Esmeralda.
Arthur confronts Dick and Heavenly and accuses them of betraying him. He shoots Dick in the chest and then turns the gun on himself. Heavenly screams in horror and runs out of the cabin into the storm. The play ends with Hertha arriving at the cabin and finding the bodies of Dick and Arthur. She cries out for Dick and curses the world that has destroyed him.
The Characters of Spring Storm
The play features four main characters who represent different aspects of Williams' own personality and experience. They are:
Heavenly Critchfield: The protagonist of the play, Heavenly is a complex and conflicted character who is torn between her desire for freedom and passion and her duty to her family and society. She is unhappy with her life as a privileged but trapped young woman who has to conform to the expectations of her class and gender. She longs for a more meaningful and adventurous existence, which she finds in Dick's love. However, she is also afraid of losing her security and status, which she gets from Arthur's wealth. She is ultimately unable to choose between them and pays a high price for her indecision.
Dick Miles: The hero of the play, Dick is a romantic and idealistic character who is willing to sacrifice everything for his love. He is a talented and ambitious writer who dreams of leaving his small town and making a name for himself in the literary world. He is also a passionate and loyal lover who adores Heavenly and wants to make her happy. However, he is also a naive and impractical character who does not realize the consequences of his actions. He is rejected by his society for his low social status and his unconventional views. He is also betrayed by his love for his inability to protect her.
Arthur Shannon: The villain of the play, Arthur is a cynical and selfish character who cares only about his own interests. He is a successful and powerful businessman who has everything he wants in life except love. He is engaged to Heavenly only because of her beauty and her family's influence. He does not love her or respect her as a person. He is also unfaithful to her and has no qualms about breaking off their engagement when he finds someone else. He is also violent and vengeful when he discovers that Heavenly has been unfaithful to him too. He kills Dick out of jealousy and himself out of despair.
Hertha Neilson: The voice of reason in the play, Hertha is a smart and independent character who challenges the norms of her society. She is a feminist who believes in women's rights and equality. She is also an atheist who rejects religion and superstition. She is a loyal and supportive friend to Dick, whom she loves secretly but hopelessly. She tries to help him achieve his goals and escape his fate. However, she is also powerless and frustrated by the limitations of her situation. She cannot express her feelings for Dick or change his mind about Heavenly. She also cannot escape her own loneliness and isolation.
The Themes of Spring Storm
The play explores several themes that are typical of Williams' later works, such as:
Sexuality: The play deals with the issue of sexuality in a conservative and repressive society that condemns any deviation from the norm. The characters are either sexually frustrated or sexually adventurous, but neither option brings them happiness or fulfillment. Heavenly is pregnant out of wedlock and has to resort to an illegal abortion that endangers her life. Dick is sexually attracted to Heavenly but cannot marry her because of their class difference. Arthur is sexually bored with Heavenly and seeks excitement elsewhere. Hertha is sexually ignored by Dick and has no other outlet for her desires.
Class: The play examines the impact of class on the lives and choices of the characters. The characters are either privileged or oppressed by their social status, but neither condition guarantees them happiness or freedom. Heavenly is wealthy but unhappy with her life as a trophy wife who has no say in her own destiny. Dick is poor but happy with his life as a writer who has control over his own creativity. Arthur is rich but unhappy with his life as a businessman who has no love or meaning in his existence. Hertha is poor but happy with her life as a feminist who has independence and intelligence.
Love: The play questions the nature and value of love in a cruel and indifferent world that destroys it. The characters are either in love or out of love, but neither state brings them happiness or peace. Heavenly loves Dick but cannot be with him because of their social difference. Dick loves Heavenly but cannot save her from her fate. Arthur does not love Heavenly but cannot let her go because of his pride. Hertha loves Dick but cannot have him because of his love for Heavenly.
a world that does not value life. The characters are either afraid of death or attracted to death, but neither attitude helps them cope with it. Heavenly fears death because she wants to live and love. Dick embraces death because he thinks it is the only way to be with Heavenly. Arthur chooses death because he thinks it is the only way to escape his misery. Hertha faces death because she thinks it is the only way to honor Dick.
The History of Spring Storm
The play has a fascinating history that reflects Williams' own struggles as a young and aspiring playwright. He wrote it in 1937 when he was 26 years old and studying at the University of Iowa. He submitted it to his professors for a workshop production, but they rejected it for being too melodramatic and sensational. They also criticized his use of poetic language and symbolism, which they considered inappropriate for realistic drama.
Williams was hurt and disappointed by this rejection, which he later described as "the most violent shock of my life". He felt that his play was misunderstood and undervalued by his teachers, who did not appreciate his originality and vision. He also felt that his play was ahead of its time and that the American audience was not ready for it. He decided to put it away and move on to other projects.
The play remained unpublished and unproduced for almost 60 years, until it was rediscovered in 1995 by a graduate student named Gregory Mosher, who was doing research on Williams' early works. He found the manuscript in a box of papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He was amazed by the quality and significance of the play, which he considered a precursor to Williams' later masterpieces such as The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. He contacted the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York and arranged for a staged reading of the play in 1996.
The reading was a success and generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among the critics and the public. The play was finally produced for the first time in 1999 by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, directed by Curt Dempster and starring Cynthia Nixon as Heavenly. The production received rave reviews and won several awards, including the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival. The play was also published for the first time in 1999 by New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Since then, the play has been performed several times in different countries and languages, such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, and China. It has also been adapted into a radio play by BBC Radio 4 in 2008 and a film by BBC Two in 2010. The play has been recognized as an important and influential work by Williams and a valuable contribution to American drama.
The PDF Download of Spring Storm
If you are interested in reading or studying Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams, you can download the PDF version of the script from various online sources. Some of them are free and some of them require a small fee or a subscription. Here are some of the options you can choose from:
New Directions Publishing Corporation: This is the official publisher of Spring Storm and other works by Williams. You can buy the paperback or ebook version of the play from their website or from other online retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The ebook version costs $9.99 and can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Project Gutenberg: This is a website that offers free ebooks of public domain works. You can download Spring Storm as a PDF file from their website for free. However, you should be aware that this version may not be accurate or complete, as it is based on an old edition of the play that may contain errors or omissions.
Google Books: This is a website that allows you to search and preview millions of books online. You can find Spring Storm on their website and read some pages for free. However, you cannot download the whole book as a PDF file unless you buy it or borrow it from a library that has access to Google Books.
Scribd: This is a website that allows you to read and download books, documents, audiobooks, and magazines online. You can find Spring Storm on their website and download it as a PDF file if you have a subscription or a free trial. The subscription costs $9.99 per month and gives you unlimited access to their library.
PDF Drive: This is a website that allows you to search and download PDF files of books and documents for free. You can find Spring Storm on their website and download it as a PDF file for free. However, you should be careful about the quality and legality of the file, as it may not be authorized or verified by the publisher or the author.
Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams is a lost gem of American drama that deserves more attention and appreciation. It is a powerful and poignant play that explores the themes of sexuality, class, love, and death with Williams' characteristic poetic language and emotional intensity. It is also a fascinating insight into Williams' early development as a writer and his struggles as a young and aspiring playwright. It is a play that will make you laugh, cry, and think.
If you want to read or study Spring Storm, you can download the PDF version of the script from various online sources, some of which are free and some of which require a fee or a subscription. You can also watch or listen to the adaptations of the play on radio or film. You will not regret it.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Spring Storm:
Q: When and where was Spring Storm written?
A: Spring Storm was written in 1937 when Tennessee Williams was 26 years old and studying at the University of Iowa.
Q: When and where was Spring Storm first produced?
A: Spring Storm was first produced in 1999 by the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, directed by Curt Dempster and starring Cynthia Nixon as Heavenly.
Q: What are some of the influences and inspirations for Spring Storm?
A: Some of the influences and inspirations for Spring Storm are Williams' own life and experiences, such as his sexuality, his family, his hometown, his education, his love affairs, and his aspirations as a writer. Some of the literary influences are Eugene O'Neill, Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, D.H. Lawrence, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Q: What are some of the similarities and differences between Spring Storm and Williams' later works?
A: Some of the similarities are the use of poetic language and symbolism, the exploration of themes such as sexuality, class, love, and death, the portrayal of complex and conflicted characters, and the setting in the American South. Some of the differences are the lack of humor and irony, the absence of a narrator or a chorus, the presence of more action and violence, and the tone of pessimism and tragedy.
Q: How can I get more information or resources about Spring Storm?
A: You can get more information or resources about Spring Storm from various sources, such as books, articles, websites, podcasts, videos, etc. Some of them are:
The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams by Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
The Theatre of Tennessee Williams by Brenda Murphy
The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams edited by Matthew C. Roudané
The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia edited by Philip C. Kolin
The Tennessee Williams Annual Review (http://www.tennesseewilliamsstudies.org/)
The Tennessee Williams Podcast (https://tennesseewilliamspodcast.com/)
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (https://tennesseewilliams.net/)
The Ensemble Studio Theatre (https://www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/)