Suddenly Last Summer

Suddenly Last Summer Analysis College

In “Suddenly Last Summer”, Tennessee Williams portrays the external and internal conflict through the emotional complex character, Catharine Holly. She must decide between telling the truth and lying, and between closure and family reputation/inheritance. It is hard to imagine that such a young girl is faced with such a mentally straining situation. The juxtaposition between these two compelling desires illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole which is truths and lies become intertwined, blurring the lines between sanctity and sanity.

Catharine Holly is conflicted throughout the novel and despite her protests, is being begged to refrain from revealing the truth about Sebastian's death. While all she desires is to tell the actual story of her cousins death, her mother and brother attempt to keep her from doing so. In the beginning of the book, we see that Mrs. Venable had an extremely close bond with her poet son Sebastian, who she vacationed with every year, but who died the previous summer while on a European vacation with Mrs. Venable's niece, Catherine Holly. Mrs. Venable's $1 million donation to Lion's View is seemingly predicated on Dr. Cukrowicz institutionalizing and lobotomizing Catherine, who Mrs. Venable states...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 933 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in