Tea and Sympathy

ISBN: 057361637X
ISBN 13: 9780573616372
By: Robert Woodruff Anderson

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Reader's Thoughts

Stephanie Frugis

Most definitely one of my favorites. I was seriously cheering at the end of the book


A heartbreaking tale. It is a must read.


"TRIAL BY PREJUDICE"Robert Anderson's 1953 drama in three acts proves a powerful indictment against macho prejudice, as well as a subtle warning to society to accept the "off-horse" with humane tolerance. Set in a boys' boarding school in New England the story unfolds in the home of a teacher (master), middle-aged Bill Reynolds, who revels in his residents' athletic prowess. Laura, his 24-year old bride, gradually realizes that he is not the same, vulnerable man whom she met and fell in love with in Italy. He seems to prefer the masculine company of the guys to spending quality time with her. Her only friend, Lilly, is also a former actress, but this gal revels in the lascivious attention of the junior jocks.Tom, one of the boys in this House, is just 17, sensitive by nature and lonely in the extreme--totally out of place with the butch fellows who sport crew cuts. To further emphasize Tom's not fitting in, although he is a tennis star in his own right, he prefers poetry and playing women's roles in amateur theatricals. When he is "seen" at a beach in the buff with another master, rumors abound that he is gay; he is suddenly the butt of nasty thoughts, snide remarks and gradual social ostracism.As the wife of a master Laura is merely expected to offer tea and sympathy to the resident boys in her House--to set a genteel tone in the parlor. But something about Tom arouses more than her sympathy, which escalates to fascination and ultimately desire--on both sides. In order to counter the ugly rumors about his being homosexual---based on the flimsiest of proof--Tom rashly makes a date with a trampy girl, hoping to get a reputation as a "regular guy." The scheme backfires to the boy's mortification. Equally eager to establish Tom's manhood on campus Laura takes matters into her own hands, but how far will she go to soothe his ego? Either way his reputation is shattered and he faces expulsion--at least from the House, if the not the school itself. As a dramatic stroke of genius it is the climax of literary irony that the very youth who is scorned for being gay has a secret affair with the wife of his chief tormentor. Insightful and thought-provoking even in the contemporary age of Open Sexuality. (Janury 5, 2010.)


A little dated now in some ways (it was published in 1953), this remains an excellent play about the dangers of being different, perceived or otherwise. There are humor, poignancy, and a bit of WHOA thrown in there too. Originally directed by Elia Kazan (!) and starring Deborah Kerr.


Τσάι και συμπάθεια: Εσφαλμένη έκφραση έκτυπο (calque) εκ της αγγλικής tea and sympathy. Στα ελληνικά πρόκειται για στοργή και προδέρμ, παρηγοριά στον άρρωστο ή πολύ απλά για καφέ και κουβεντούλα.slang.grΟ συγγραφέας είναι γνωστός ως ο δραματουργός της μοναξιάς. Τσάι και συμπάθεια προσφέρουν οι σύζυγοι των καθηγητών ενός εσωτερικού σχολείου αρρένων στη Νέα Αγγλία τη δεκαετία του '50. Μια μοναχική νεαρή σύζυγος αναπτύσσει δεσμούς καρδιάς με ένα μοναχικό 18χρονο μαθητή, του οποίου του έχει "βγει το όνομα" με μεγάλη ευκολία επειδή παρεκκλίνει από το στερεότυπο της ανδροπρεπούς συμπεριφοράς. Παραήταν μελαγχολικό για τα γούστα μου.

Lina Zikas

It was very short, but every page was full of action. I liked it, and I can see why it was controversial for its time. But I liked it.

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