The Night of the Iguana Essay

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In this essay, Petrusso examines the so-called "happy" ending of Williams'splay via the motivations of its three main characters.

One source of controversy among critics of Tennessee Williams' s The Night of the Iguana is the decision of Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon to stay at the hotel with Maxine Faulk at the end of the play. Glenn Embrey, in his essay "The Subterranean World of The Night of the Iguana," argues "the ending isn't as believable as it is formally pleasing and optimistic. Even according to the overt level of drama, the ending sounds suspiciously like the product of wishful thinking. For one thing, it comes rather suddenly and unexpectedly; an hour's exposure to human compassion, a cup of poppy tea, and a bit of Oriental wisdom hardly seem sufficient to eradicate habits and attitudes hardened over ten years." Embrey misses the undercurrents of the play. Shannon has...

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This section contains 1,711 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Night of the Iguana Study Guide
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The Night of the Iguana from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.