Barnes Hospital

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216 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri   63110


In The Glass Menagerie:

Tom:  Not quite all – in the eyes of others – strangers – she’s terribly shy and lives in a world of her own and those things make her seem a little peculiar to people outside the house.

Amanda:  Don’t say peculiar.

Tom:  Face the facts.  She is.

In Real Life:

Barnes Hospital is not mentioned in The Glass Menagerie but it played a role in the life of Tennessee Williams and his family. His sister Rose – who Williams was thinking of in the character of Laura Wingfield – was treated there  – for nerves – when she was 20 years old. He wrote about it in The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, 1920 to 1945. By 1937, when she was 28, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized at State Hospital in Farmington. She received insulin therapy which was not successful. In 1943, she had a lobotomy. Williams moved her to a private hospital in New York State with his earnings from A Streetcar Named Desire. She outlived her brother and died there in 1996. Williams also did a stint at Barnes Hospital. In 1969, his brother Dakin brought him home from Florida where he was having trouble. He checked Tennessee into Barnes Hospital for drug and alcohol addiction. He wrote about it in his Memoirs.

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