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50 Tennessee Williams Quotes on Happiness and Humanity

January 15, 2021 7:00 AM EST

This list of quotes from Tennessee Williams plays and insightful thoughts he had throughout his life will inspire you.

Thomas Lanier Williams III, known by the pen name Tennessee Williams, was a famous American playwright. He is best known for his works such as A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

50 Tennessee Williams Quotes on Happiness and Humanity

These Tennessee Williams quotes on happiness, humanity, and life will brighten your day. Even if you aren’t familiar with his plays, these inspirational quotes will help you better understand the mind of Tennessee Williams.

Have you ever read any Tennessee Williams poems or plays before?

Many of his stories have also been adapted into films that you can watch. The Tennessee Williams quotes below are some of the most famous thoughts the talented writer ever shared with the world. If you aspire to greatness and want to leave your mark on the world, follow the advice of Tennessee Williams.

Don’t forget to also check out these William Faulkner quotes about love, life, and death.

Tennessee Williams Quotes on Happiness and Humanity

1. “We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.” – Tennessee Williams

2. “Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” – Tennessee Williams

3. “For time is the longest distance between two places.” – Tennessee Williams

4. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” – Tennessee Williams

5. “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” – Tennessee Williams

6. “A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.” – Tennessee Williams

7. “If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.” – Tennessee Williams

8. “Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.” – Tennessee Williams

9. “Success and failure are equally disastrous.” – Tennessee Williams

10. “The strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that’s true of everyone, don’t you?” – Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams quotes to brighten your day

11. “Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour – but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands – and who knows what to do with it?” – Tennessee Williams

12. “We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.” – Tennessee Williams

13. “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.” – Tennessee Williams

14. “All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.” – Tennessee Williams

15. “Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.” – Tennessee Williams

16. “We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.” – Tennessee Williams

17. “Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is.” – Tennessee Williams

18. “Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.” – Tennessee Williams

19. “What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” – Tennessee Williams

20. “There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.” – Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams quotes to help you better understand his mind

21. “Luck is believing you’re lucky.” – Tennessee Williams

22. “I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.” – Tennessee Williams

23. “The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!” – Tennessee Williams

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of hypocrite quotes from famous writers and authors.

24. “If I am no longer disturbed myself, I will deal less with disturbed people, but I don’t regret having concerned myself with them because I think most of us are disturbed.” – Tennessee Williams

25. “You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.” – Tennessee Williams

26. “We’re all of us guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.” – Tennessee Williams

27. “To be free is to have achieved your life.” – Tennessee Williams

28. “Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.” – Tennessee Williams

29. “The most dangerous word in any human tongue is the word for brother. It’s inflammatory.” – Tennessee Williams

30. “The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.” – Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams quotes to inspire you to leave your mark on the world

31. “Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an death’s the other.” – Tennessee Williams

32. “Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you – gently, with love, and hand your life back to you.” – Tennessee Williams

33. “I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.” – Tennessee Williams

34. “Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle, you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.” – Tennessee Williams

35. “In memory, everything seems to happen to music.” – Tennessee Williams

36. “A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.” – Tennessee Williams

37. “Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.” – Tennessee Williams

38. “Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one’s own character to himself.” – Tennessee Williams

39. “All good art is an indiscretion.” – Tennessee Williams

40. “Most of the confidence which I appear to feel, especially when influenced by noon wine, is only a pretense.” – Tennessee Williams

More Tennessee Williams quotes

41. “I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.” – Tennessee Williams

42. “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” – Tennessee Williams

43. “When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I’m only really alive when I’m writing.” – Tennessee Williams

44. “All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.” – Tennessee Williams

45. “Time doesn’t take away from friendship, nor does separation.” – Tennessee Williams

46. “Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.” – Tennessee Williams

47. “Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see …each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition– all such distortions within our own egos– condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That’s how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other’s naked hearts.” – Tennessee Williams

48. “I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?” – Tennessee Williams

49. “A prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.” – Tennessee Williams

50. “Death is one moment, and life is so many of them.” – Tennessee Williams

What are your favorite Tennessee Williams quotes from his plays and poems?

Tennessee Williams is considered to be one of the best playwrights of 20th-century American drama. His stories are iconic and his characters are legendary.

This collection of Tennessee Williams quotes are some of his most powerful words of wisdom. If you’re looking for enlightenment or inspiration, these thoughtful Tennessee Williams quotes are perfect for you.

The literary legacy of Tennessee Williams will always live on in his plays, poems, short stories, and quotes. Read this list of his quotes if you’re a fan of his work. These famous sayings and quotes from Tennessee Williams plays will give you a fresh perspective on life.

Understanding how drama unfolds on the stage will help you deal with it in real life. Share these Tennessee Williams quotes with your loved ones today.

What are your favorite Tennessee Williams poems, plays, and quotes? Let us know in the comment section below.

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