Professor Todd Salovey
TDGE 1: Introduction to Theatre (A02)
9 March 2011
The Night of the Iguana: Learning to Live
We all live with things that set us back from becoming who we want to be.
Nonetheless, we learn to pick ourselves back up from fear and failure so that we can thrive
with a new spirit and confidence—and perhaps companionship.
In Tennessee Williams’
Night of the Iguana
, The Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon has hit rock bottom again, and
unaware that he is not alone.
It is working as a Blake Tours’ guide in Mexico for a large
group of female schoolteachers, that Shannon collapses from the pressure of leading his tour,
having constant flings with young girls, and fighting the psychological “spook” that haunts
In desperation, he turns to Maxim Faulk, a longtime friend who runs the Costa
Verde hotel in Mexico.
Having recently lost her husband, Maxim is surprisingly strong in
her discreet way of asking Shannon to come to bed with her.
Yet in effect, Maxim is simply
of high hopes that Shannon can stay so that they both can care for one another in their times
Yet, soon enough, Hannah Welkes and her grandfather Nonno come to the Costa
Verde Hotel and the day takes a different turn.
After arriving at the Costa Verde Hotel, Shannon spends a couple of hours between
catching up with Maxim and bickering with his tour group’s leader, Mrs. Fellowes, about
what the group should do. Yet when Hannah and Nonno arrive, Shannon is suddenly
curiously interested in the peace and confidence with which Hannah carries herself. Hannah,
“a New England spinster pushing forty ” travels globally around with Nonno and uses her
skills as a artist and painter, and his prestige as the oldest poet alive and poem recitation to
make enough for the both of them to get by.
A juxtaposition to Maxim, who comes on to
Shannon rather headstrong, Shannon is drawn to the way that Hannah composes herself with
gentleness and humility. Of course the way that Shannon is openly accepts Hannah and
Nonno could be because of his own broken state.
Yet, though Maxim refuses to allow
Hannah and Nonno to stay at her hotel simply because she does not like them, Shannon takes
them into his arms and succeeds in convincing Maxim to let them stay at least for one night.
As the day goes on, Shannon and Hannah begin to share with each other their lives and how