A minister's daughter and a doctor's son love each other despite their radically different approaches to life.
Once more, Tennessee Williams manages to bring to life the great dichotomies of the human experience. Summer and Smoke focuses on the one between the body and the soul.
Alma is an overly emotional young lady, who was raised by a minister and a mentally-ill mother, and has to hide her fears behind refinements and mannerisms. On the other hand, John does all he can to break free from the repressed.
Summer and Smoke is not Tennessee Williams' best play, mostly because John is not his most complex character. His purpose is to bring about the changes that make his female counterpart so interesting.
Alma is one of the many haunting female characters Williams has created in his career. You very well know she is doomed to fail from the beginning, and yet the climax and ending are always as heartbreaking as they can be. They leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.