Theme of illusion in Lord Byron's Love Letter

The famous one act play Lord Byron's Love Letter by Tennessee Williams depicts his universal theme of reality versus illusion. The spinster and the old woman are in a dark living room. Even in the daytime they live in the darkroom burning the lamp. They find the sunlight outside unbearable. The spinster shuts the door quickly. This is symbolic of modern people.

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)

They can't face the reality. They live in the world created by their own imagination. They live in the illusion that the people will be easily fooled by their trick of love letter by a famous poet. They cannot go outside to face the bitter reality of life and spend their most of the time inside the parlor. Even inside the parlor, when any visitor comes, the old woman hides herself behind the curtain. Her ability to confront the people outside her parlor has diminished.

The depiction of canary, further adds focus on this theme of living life under the illusion. There is a canary in a tiny cage, but the canary is dead. It is stuffed to make believe that it looks like real, in fact, alive. Both the women in the parlor do not have the courage to throw the dead canary which stands as an illusion of life. Rather, they try to find life in a dead canary by stuffing it. The canary represents the meaningless life of these two ladies and a life full of imagination and illusion. The black silk dress of the old woman too denotes the death of hope and sincerity of the modern people. They cheat the people with the help of the letter which was actually written by her husband not by the great poet Lord Byron. They live in illusion and also enforce other people to live in their illusion of the love letter.