The Tennessee Williams Annual Review
Punishment and the Body: Boss Whalen, Michel Foucault, and Not About Nightingales
The reappearance of Tennessee Williams’s “lost” play Not About Nightingales shocked and surprised many critics and scholars when it was first performed in London in 1998. Written in late 1938 but never produced until sixty years later, Nightingales offers a very different portrait of its iconic author, a playwright best known for his tender lyricism and touching portrayals of such vulnerable characters as Laura Wingfield and Blanche DuBois. This vulnerability can also be found in Nightingales but only amongst a great deal of horror, violence, blood, and death. An obvious reason for the presence of all these gruesome elements is that Williams composed his play as a dramatization of an atrocity that actually took place at a prison in Holmesburg, Pennsylvania, in 1938. A group of twenty-five prisoners staged a hunger strike and were locked in a steam-heated cell. Four of them were roasted alive, and when the news of this brutality spread through the newspapers, the American public was outraged (Hale 347). Likewise, Williams, a playwright who had many political and proletarian sympathies at the time, was disgusted with this display of authoritarian cruelty, and his play is a direct and unflinchingly graphic indictment of the unfair treatment of the marginalized outcasts of society.
During his pursuit of “dramatic justice” in Nightingales, Williams shows no mercy in his portrayal of the prison’s administration. Williams’s unnamed prison is run entirely by one man, Boss Whalen, a brutal warden who endlessly beats, tortures, and maims the prisoners to insure that his rule over the penitentiary remains intact. Whalen is such a ruthless figure that his methods of the administration of “justice” and discipline greatly resemble the horrific spectacle of public execution and torture used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that Michel Foucault describes in his seminal book, Discipline and Punish (1975). In a study of Foucault and Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, “Marginalia: Streetcar, Williams, and Foucault,” William Kleb proclaims that when “reading Michel Foucault and Tennessee Williams at the same time, one is struck again and again by a remarkable thematic and methodological kinship” (27). This kinship is very apparent in Not About Nightingales. By comparing Whalen’s actions to the brutal disciplinary tactics discussed by Foucault, one not only discerns the archaic nature of discipline that Williams is attacking in Nightingales but also observes an illuminating critique of the economy of punishment Whalen uses throughout the play. In spite of all the violence and force he administers upon the prisoners, Whalen is eventually usurped by his intended subjects after a riot at the conclusion of the play, losing his power and his life. Foucault would most likely argue that Whalen’s defeat comes as a result of his insistence upon using physical torture and spectacle as his primary means of discipline, methods that can only work up to a certain extent.
At one point in the play, “Canary” Jim Allison—a prisoner who works closely with Whalen as his assistant, edits the prison’s monthly magazine, and serves as the play’s protagonist—encapsulates perfectly the situation in the prison under Whalen’s rule when he tells Eva, his love interest and Whalen’s secretary, “Nothing has so much value as the skin our own guts are wrapped in” (54). This statement is representative of Whalen’s visceral tyranny that reigns over the prison, with the body of the convict as the primary site of its execution. Whalen’s two foremost disciplinary weapons, Doctor Jones and the Klondike, are instruments of bodily pain and torture. Doctor Jones, a rubber hose, is the instrument of discipline with which Jim is the most familiar; when he first arrives at the prison, Whalen, intent on “breaking” Jim’s steadfast poise, “[gives] him fifty stripes with a rubber-hose ev’ry morning for fourteen days” (37). Ten years later, the scars from the beating still remain on Jim’s back, and during one scene that takes place in the Warden’s office, Whalen displays his power, hoping to impress Eva, by telling Jim to remove his shirt and show her the scars. As Jim does so, Whalen relishes telling her the gory details of Jim’s punishment:
See them scars, Eva? He got them ten years ago. Pretty sight he was then. Raw meat. The skin hung down from his back like pieces of red tissue paper! The flesh was all pulpy, beat up, the blood squirted out like juice from a ripe tomato ev’ry time I brung the whip down on him.—Had enough, Jim? Ready to go back to that embossing machine?—Naw, says Jim.—Not till it’s fixed!—He defied me like that for fourteen days. (37-38)
Whalen’s graphic narrative so greatly disturbs and sickens Eva that she faints. When she regains her composure, Whalen snidely asks, “You think I’m brutal, dontcha?” (38).
This is an extremely revealing scene for many reasons. Obviously, Whalen delights in using physical torture against the convicts and feels his use of violence is the best way to remind them of his power and protect himself against “men that would knife their own mothers for the price of a beer” (36). His gruesome description of Jim’s brutalized body recalls the tortured bodies that Foucault finds present in the condemned masses of the seventeenth century, those “tortured, dismembered, amputated [bodies], symbolically branded on face or shoulder, exposed alive or dead to public view” (8). In Williams’s play, Jim’s body is branded by the mark of Whalen’s punishment and contempt—he later vengefully complains of having to carry Whalen’s “signature on [his] back” (90)—and when Whalen forces him to show his scars to Eva, his torture is made into public spectacle. Granted, Whalen’s spectacle isn’t as openly demonstrated as the public executions described by Foucault; he never shows off his brutalized bodies in the town square but rather tries to deceive the public into believing that the prison is humanely operated. This incident in his office, however, does act as sort of a contained public spectacle within the microcosm of the prison because the entire purpose of this action is to show Eva, an outsider and civilian, the enormity of the power that he feels he wields over the convicts. Whalen’s probable logic behind this excessively brutal punishment can be seen in Foucault’s discussion of the necessary spectacle of public torture:
Although redress of the private injury occasioned by the offence must be proportionate, although the sentence must be equitable, the punishment is carried out in such a way as to give a spectacle not of measure, but of imbalance and excess; in this liturgy of punishment, there must be an emphatic affirmation of power and of its intrinsic superiority. And this superiority is not simply that of right, but that of the physical strength of the sovereign beating down upon the body of his adversary and mastering it. (49)
It is important to Whalen that his disciplinary work be seen by others within the prison so they can realize how much power he has over his subjects and how little power his subjects have in relation. Whalen perhaps does his job a bit too well in this scene, causing Eva to faint, but the desired effect is achieved; Eva now understands the extent of his power and Jim, seeing her horrified reaction, is “remind[ed] . . . of his old friend Dr. Jones” (38) and of his physical subjection.
Whalen does not realize, however, the potentially dangerous repercussions of administering discipline strictly with physical torture and public spectacle. Foucault feels that when the punisher directly applies torture to the body of the condemned, there is “a scene of confrontation” (51) in which the punisher is challenged to “break” the prisoner, to make him scream in pain and repent all of his wrongdoing. While the administration of pain to the body shows the overwhelming power of the punisher, it also shows, according to Foucault, “the real limit of power” (50). In other words, if physical torture and pain are the only penalties with which the sovereign can punish the condemned and these methods fail to “break” the criminal, the body may be beaten and scarred, but the criminal’s soul and will, his internal fortitude, remains intact.
This limit to physical subjection is one of the deficiencies in Whalen’s attempted subjection of Jim. While admiring Jim’s “carved in stone” (37) face, Whalen tells Eva, “I tried to break that when Jim first come in here. Never did. It stayed like it is—Stone Face!” (37). Even though Whalen beats Jim ruthlessly, he is never able to “break” him, and Jim realizes he has something inside that Whalen and Dr. Jones can’t touch. One night, while discussing “Intellectual Emancipation” (25) with his cell mate, Ollie, Jim explains:
They are big words. So big that the world hangs on ’em. They [the warden and the guards] can tell us what to read, what to say, what to do—But they can’t tell us what to think! And as long as man can think as he pleases he’s never exactly locked up anywhere. He can think himself outside of all their walls and boundaries and make the world his place to live in—It’s a swell feeling, Ollie, when you’ve done that. (26)
Jim understands that even if Whalen can control his body, his mind remains beyond the grasp of Whalen’s physical tortures. This freedom of the mind and soul keeps Jim from being completely subjected, and this failure of true subjection is, to say the least, a dangerous threat to the oppressor’s power.
Another problematic element of Whalen’s rule is that his use of physical torture and spectacle tends to resemble what Foucault calls “carnival” (61). Foucault explains, “In these [public] executions, which ought to show only the terrorizing power of the prince, there was a whole aspect of the carnival, in which rules were inverted, authority mocked and criminals transformed into heroes” (61). This inversion occurs in this scene; instead of impressing Eva with the power of the punishment he has unleashed upon Jim’s body, he shows how strong a person Jim is to endure this brutal torture, causing Eva’s sympathy for Jim to grow. As the play progresses, Eva’s love for Jim continues to blossom while she begins to see Whalen as a brute and a monster. Just as he does with the prisoners, Whalen attempts to control Eva’s body with force, constantly imposing himself upon her so aggressively that, in one scene, he leaves a “blue mark” (47) on her arm from grasping her. Again, Whalen marks the body but cannot touch the soul. Even when he finally coerces Eva to sleep with him, he succeeds only because he promises her that he will grant Jim his much sought-after parole. Jim becomes a hero in Eva’s eyes due partly to the mistreatment he has received; she believes that his time in prison has made him “a giant” who is “stronger than other men are” (49) and is willing to give her body to a man she loathes in order to grant him freedom. Clearly, Whalen’s use of physical torture has backfired, pitting his public, represented in the play by Eva, against him.
Most of the other characters in the play, mainly the prisoners, also become enraged with Whalen’s brutal tactics. Dissatisfied with the prison’s rotten food, the convicts threaten to wage a hunger strike, a direct challenge to Whalen. Running true to form, he retaliates against this affront by threatening the prisoners with his other main instrument of physical torture: the Klondike, a steam-heated cell that Butch O’Fallon, the ringleader of the prisoners in Cell Block C, describes as “a little suburb of hell” (27). The Klondike’s horrible effects are first seen when Sailor Jack, an unfortunate convict, is subjected to its tortures. After he is released from Klondike and returned to the Cell Block C, he “has the vacant look of the schizophrenic” (15) and sings nonsense songs to himself. The guard threatens him and commands him to be quiet, but Sailor Jack is clearly beyond caring. This incident is another example of Whalen’s failure to create subjects through physical torture; instead of controlling Sailor Jack’s mind, Whalen causes him to lose his sanity and makes him into a wretched creature who has nothing to lose and, as a result, cannot be threatened. Foucault argues that desperate last acts of defiance, such as Sailor Jack’s, are another weakness of the use of physical torture and spectacle:
If the crowd gathered round the scaffold, it was not simply to witness the sufferings of the condemned man . . . : it was also to hear an individual who had nothing more to lose curse the judges, the laws, the government and religion. The public execution allowed the luxury of these momentary saturnalia, when nothing remained to prohibit or punish. (60)
After having his body and mind destroyed by physical torment, Sailor Jack feels no need to obey the guards when they tell him to behave, and even though his acts of defiance are just the ramblings of an unhinged mind, his presence on the cell block only serves to rile up the rest of the prisoners.
The ways that the prisoners react to Sailor Jack’s predicament also show Whalen’s dangerously uncertain rule over the prison. Instead of frightening them with the presence of Sailor Jack’s tortured body in the internalized public space of the cell block, Whalen causes violent unrest amongst the convicts. The events in this scene are much like the incidents that Foucault cites in Discipline and Punish in which the spectators of a public execution become enraged by the administration of punishment and revolt against the authorities:
[I]t was on [the scaffold] that the people, drawn to the spectacle intended to terrorize it, could express its rejection of the punitive power and sometimes revolt. Preventing an execution that was regarded as unjust, snatching a condemned man from the hands of the executioner, obtaining his pardon by force, possibly pursuing and assaulting the executioners, in many cases abusing the judges and causing an uproar against the sentence—all this formed part of the popular practices that invested, traversed and often overturned the ritual of the public execution. . . . [O]ne finds many examples when the agitation was provoked directly by a verdict and an execution: small, but innumerable “disturbances around the scaffold.” (59-60)
Sailor Jack’s presence in the cell block certainly causes what could be called a “disturbance around the scaffold.” The convicts are outraged by the way Sailor Jack has been treated, and many of them openly voice their disapproval to Schultz and McBurney, two of the guards. When Schultz foolishly threatens to send Sailor Jack back to Klondike if he doesn’t quit singing, Butch O’Fallon accusingly retorts, “It’s Klondike that got him like this. . . . You must’ve cooked his brains out of him down there, Schultz” (16). This statement causes “an uproar against the sentence” (60) just as the disturbances around the scaffold did.
When Sailor Jack keeps on singing and Schultz threatens to send the entire cell block to Klondike if he doesn’t stop, Butch goes further than merely vocalizing his displeasure with the prison’s administration of punishment; he strikes Sailor Jack and knocks him unconscious. This action is significant because it shows Butch creating another disturbance much like the ones that Foucault describes. By silencing Sailor Jack, Butch is saving him and the rest of the cell block from the punishment that Schultz is preparing to unleash upon them; he is “obtaining [a] pardon by force” (59), as Foucault would say, by taking the power to administer discipline away from Whalen and the guards and putting it in his own hands. Having this power makes Butch feel more confident instead of subjugated, and he assuredly commands Jim to tell Whalen “the Angels in Hall C have put another black mark on his name for Sailor Jack” (18) and that “some day [they’re] going to appoint a special committee of one to come down there an’ settle up the score” (18). Whalen’s excessive use of physical violence continues to create a treacherous tension within the prison, a tension that will not end well for him.
As the situation in the prison worsens and the prisoners become more restless and belligerent, Whalen blindly responds with more torture and spectacle. When the prisoners protest the awful prison food by not eating, some of the men are sent to the hole to “teach [them] a lesson” (44). After two weeks, they are released and escorted to Whalen’s office for inspection. When Schultz brings them into the office, Whalen tells Eva that she “better stay” (49), again making sure that she is there to witness the power of his torturous discipline, and delights in the effect that he feels the sight of these men will have on the other convicts: “Nice-lookin’ bunch. Oughta make quite an impression when they go back to Hall C!” (49). Whalen’s brutality goes too far this time, however, when Ollie, one of the men that had been put in the hole, is driven to desperation by the prospect of spending two more days in the hole and kills himself by cracking his head against a wall. The news of Ollie’s death so enrages the prisoners that they stage their biggest “disturbance at the scaffold” yet: they finally stage their hunger strike.
As the prisoners’ hunger strike gains momentum, Whalen’s weaknesses as a ruler become more apparent. While he continues to rely on physical punishment and threatens the prisoners by reminding them that he has “got[ten] the temperature up to 150 degrees” (57) in Klondike, the situation becomes so dire that Whalen attempts to control the men with the more subtle and psychological weapon of discourse. In his article, “Culture, Power, and the (En)gendering of Community: Tennessee Williams and Politics,” Thomas P. Adler claims that in Williams’s plays, “power—and the abuse of power—are gendered concepts” (656) and explains that power is usually held by a dominant, patriarchal figure. In Nightingales, this figure is obviously Whalen, who often associates himself with patriarchy by talking proudly about his daughter at home (36) and bragging about women calling him “Papa” (45) while he makes love to them. Using another of Williams’s “Bosses,” Boss Finley from Sweet Bird of Youth, as his model, Adler shows that the patriarchy must sustain its power in Williams’s plays through the use of both violence and discourse (658). It has already been established that Whalen’s use of violence as a means of control and discipline is ineffective; unfortunately for him, his faulty use of discourse is just as disastrous.
When the prison’s chaplain quits, Whalen enlists the new chaplain, Reverend Hooker, to deliver a sermon to the prisoners that will frighten them into conforming to the rules and eating the food they are served. This sermon provides Whalen with the perfect opportunity to use some of the later, more advanced and effective methods of discipline that Foucault discusses in Discipline and Punish, such as the all-seeing “Panoptic gaze” and the conflation of the prison’s authority with this gaze. Instead of taking advantage of this opportunity, however, Whalen and the new chaplain hastily plan out a patchwork sermon; he instructs the chaplain, “I haven’t got time to go into details, Reverend. But I want you to touch on three particular subjects. I don’t care how you bring ’em in, just so you do and so you give ’em the right emphasis! . . . Remember, now, food, heat, and Klondike!” (61). Predictably, the sermon is clumsy and incomprehensible and so enrages the prisoners that they begin yelling furiously and throw hymnals at Reverend Hooker. According to Allean Hale in her article, “Not About Nightingales: Tennessee Williams as Social Activist,” Williams was originally unhappy with this scene and dismissed it as a “Preposterous situation, completely out of key with the rest of the play” (qtd. in Hale 350). Hale is more forgiving than the playwright in her reading of the scene, claiming that it provides some much-needed comic relief in an otherwise intense play. The sermon scene is, however, more important than either Williams or Hale acknowledge because it graphically illustrates the great extent to which Whalen has mismanaged the prison. By constantly relying upon physical torture, brutality, and spectacle, Whalen has neglected to make subjects out of the prisoners through the more effective methods of surveillance, mental control via visibility and discourse, and internalized subjectivity.
The convicts would have never acted in such a rebellious manner if Whalen, instead of focusing on the subjection of the body of the prisoners, had used the methods of Panopticism as his economy of punishment and discipline. Foucault claims that the use of Panopticism is so effective because it “induce[s] in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (201). In other words, since the convict feels that he is constantly visible and could be observed at any time, he will always be minding his own behavior and will quickly become the bearer of his own subjectivity. Foucault feels that in the Panopticon scheme, “Visibility is a trap” (200), but this constant visibility is not a mechanism that is put to valuable use in Whalen’s penitentiary. Whalen’s blind spots are made evident from the very first scene of the play when Jim and Eva first meet. When Eva arrives at the prison to apply for a job and asks Jim where Whalen is, Jim replies, “Inspecting the grounds” (10) but soon clarifies this statement by explaining, “Sometimes inspecting the grounds doesn’t mean inspecting the grounds. . . . Sometimes it’s an idiomatic expression for having a couple of beers in the back room at Tony’s” (10). This scene illustrates that there are prisoners that Whalen hasn’t fooled. “Inspecting the grounds” is very ominous sounding; this phrase makes it seem as if Whalen could be anywhere in the prison, observing whatever may be taking place in the cells. Jim’s clarification of the idiom, however, reveals that Whalen is actually shut away in a room, drinking beers and blind to what is going on with the prisoners. Even when Whalen decides to observe the prisoners, he depends on Jim, one of the convicts, to be his eyes and ears in the prison. This is a dangerous dependency because Jim is a strong-willed individual who, in many situations, reveals and discloses as he pleases, a trait that Eva notices when she asks him, “Why don’t you ever open the door you’re hiding behind?” (48). Many things that take place in the prison (Jim and Eva’s romance for example) remain hidden from Whalen throughout most of the play, proving that constant visibility is not something that should worry many of the convicts in Nightingales.
Another apparatus of the Panopticon that Whalen fails to exploit is the separation and division of the inmates’ bodies. When describing the arrangement of prisoners in the Panopticon, Foucault explains:
Each individual, in his place, is securely confined to a cell from which he is seen from the front by the supervisor; but the side walls prevent him from coming into contact with his companions. He is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication. The arrangement of his room, opposite the central tower, imposes on him an axial visibility; but the divisions of the ring, those separated cells, imply a lateral invisibility. And this invisibility is a guarantee of order. If the inmates are convicts, there is no danger of a plot, an attempt at collective escape, the planning of new crimes for the future, [or] bad reciprocal influences. (200)
Most times, it seems as if there is no order in the groupings of convicts in Whalen’s prison. The convicts are tightly packed into their cells by threes and fours and have open communication with both their cell mates and the prisoners in the cells around them. This disorganized clutter of convicts greatly resembles Foucault’s descriptions of the archaic prisons of the seventeenth century in which the prisoners were “compact, swarming, howling masses” (200). This “mixing” of bodies offers numerous opportunities for rebellious prisoners like Butch O’Fallon to influence his fellow inmates adversely or to stir up dissent on a massive scale. In fact, after Ollie kills himself, Butch is able to disrupt the prison’s entire administration simply by taking advantage of the open communication that exists between the prisoners. As the news of Ollie’s death rapidly spreads amongst the inmates and finally gets back to Butch, he reacts by shouting defiantly, “Quit eating! QUIT EATING!” (52), and a rumble is immediately heard throughout the other prisoners: “What does Butch say?—Butch says quit eating—hunger-strike?—Yeah, hunger-strike!—Butch says HUNGER-STRIKE!” (52). In this case, the convicts are definitely “subjects in communication,” and the communication between them creates a tidal wave of rebellion that will eventually lead to Whalen losing his power over the prison and its inmates.
After Whalen’s disciplinary weaknesses are taken into account, he begins to look less like the powerful patriarchal figures that Adler finds in Williams’s plays and more like the “Big Daddy” figures that Colby H. Kullman discusses in his article, “Rule by Power: ‘Big Daddyism’ in the World of Tennessee Williams’s Plays.” Like Adler, Kullman notices a strong patriarchal figure in many of Williams’s plays, but he feels that these figures are more vulnerable than Adler does. According to Kullman, the power of the “Big Daddy” only continues to operate as long as “everyone thinks that it does” (670); “Big Daddy” figures often “find themselves in danger of being preyed upon” (674) by other, stronger power brokers who wait for their chance and pounce when “Big Daddy” shows the first signs of weakness.
The character who fulfills this position of watching and waiting to overcome “Big Daddy” Whalen in Nightingales is Butch, a convict who is strong, relentless, and seemingly unstoppable. It is no coincidence that Whalen and Butch are both compared to Mussolini (31, 47) during the course of the play; they are both rulers over the inmates, and their methods of keeping discipline are strikingly similar. When a new prisoner is brought into Butch’s cell, Butch immediately shows him exactly how he runs things in his domain, brandishing his fists and exclaiming, “When you talk back to me you’re talking back to this!” (31). Butch’s economy of discipline, like Whalen’s, is based upon physical pain and domination, and he feels that if he can be more aggressive and brutal than Whalen, he can overcome him. The power struggle between these two men recalls Foucault’s claim that at the site where the punisher applies pain to the body of the intended subject, there is a “scene of confrontation” (51). When the men continue their hunger strike and are threatened with Klondike, Whalen’s site of challenge and confrontation, Butch gives his fellow cell mates a fervor-filled pep talk the night before they are to be placed in the hot, deadly cell:
You’re scared of Klondike? I say let ’em throw us in Klondike!—Maybe some of you weak sisters will be melted down into grease-chucks. But not all twenty-five of us! Some of us are gonna beat Klondike! And Klondike’s deir las’ trump card, when you got that licked, you’ve licked everything they’ve got to offer in here! You got ’em over the barrel for good! So then what happens? They come up to us and they say, “You win! What is it you want?” (68)
Butch, like Jim, realizes the limit of Whalen’s power, and after he survives his experience in Klondike and helps stir up a full scale riot, he temporarily becomes the “new whipping-boss” (90) by invading Whalen’s office and beating the warden to death with Dr. Jones. Even though state troopers soon arrive on the scene and take back control of the prison, there is enough time for Butch to usurp Whalen’s rule and to turn Whalen’s brutal mechanisms against him. Whalen’s archaic, bodily oriented mismanagement of the prison finally leads to his ultimate undoing.
Whalen’s defeat at the end of Not About Nightingales verifies many of the ideas set forth by Foucault in Discipline and Punish, and a Foucauldian reading foregrounds the power struggle at the heart of Nightingales and reveals that this early Williams play is more similar to Williams’s later, better-known works than it initially seems. Tyrannical, visceral, and patriarchal figures like Whalen continue to populate Williams’s plays; Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire and Boss Finley from Sweet Bird of Youth are two good examples of this character type. The essential difference between Whalen and these other characters, however, is that men like Stanley and Finley more subtly and evenly distribute their methods of domination, using not only violence and physicality as a means of control but also exploiting discourse and the trap of visibility as well. By this token, it seems that as Williams’s career progresses and his work becomes more mature, the villains of his plays likewise become more cunning and dangerous. Unlike Whalen, who is beaten to death and tossed out of a window, these late villains are usually able to triumph over their opposition; for instance, Stanley has Blanche sent to an asylum, and Finley has Chance Wayne castrated. In Not About Nightingales, Williams shows that even if Whalen’s disciplinary actions are archaic and brutal, there is, at least, the chance that he can be overcome and overthrown in the end. The power brokers in Williams’s later plays will not be toppled as easily.
Adler, Thomas P. “Culture, Power, and the (En)gendering of Community: Williams and Politics.” Mississippi Quarterly 48.4 (1995): 649-64.
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Pantheon, 1977.
Hale, Allean. “Not About Nightingales: Tennessee Williams as Social Activist.” Modern Drama 42.3 (1999): 346-62.
Kleb, William. “Marginalia: Streetcar, Williams, and Foucault.” Confronting Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire: Essays in Cultural Pluralism. Ed. Philip C. Kolin. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1993. 27-43.
Kullman, Colby H. “Rule by Power: ‘Big Daddyism’ in the World of Tennessee Williams’s Plays.” Mississippi Quarterly 48.4 (1995): 667-76.
Williams, Tennessee. Not About Nightingales. New York: Samuel French, 1999.