Sweet Bird of Youth


Tennessee Williams

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Dr. George Scudder Character Analysis

A doctor in St. Cloud who practices at the hospital owned by Boss Finley. Scudder is the first person to visit Chance in the Princess’s hotel room, telling him that he should leave St. Cloud before Boss Finley tracks him down and castrates him. He informs Chance that Heavenly went through a “tragic ordeal” because of her contact with him. Although he doesn’t reveal it in this moment, Scudder is referring to the fact that Heavenly contracted a sexually transmitted disease after sleeping with Chance. Because of this, Scudder had to perform a secret operation on Heavenly—an operation that went wrong and left her infertile. Despite Scudder’s surgical error, Boss Finley has arranged for him and Heavenly to get married.

Dr. George Scudder Quotes in Sweet Bird of Youth

The Sweet Bird of Youth quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. George Scudder or refer to Dr. George Scudder . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Youth, Beauty, and Time Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the New Directions edition of Sweet Bird of Youth published in 1959.
Act One, Scene One Quotes

SCUDDER: There’s a lot more to this which we feel ought not to be talked about to anyone, least of all to you, since you have turned into a criminal degenerate, the only right term for you, but, Chance, I think I ought to remind you that once long ago, the father of this girl wrote out a prescription for you, a sort of medical prescription, which is castration. You’d better think about that, that would deprive you of all you’ve got to get by on. […]

CHANCE: I’m used to that threat. I’m not going to leave St. Cloud without my girl.

Related Characters: Chance Wayne (speaker), Dr. George Scudder (speaker), Heavenly Finley, Boss Finley
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. George Scudder Character Timeline in Sweet Bird of Youth

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. George Scudder appears in Sweet Bird of Youth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene One
Purity and Corruption Theme Icon
Love, Obsession, and Pleasure Theme Icon
...with Mr. Boss Finley’s daughter. Before long, Fly exits, and a “business-like young man” named George Scudder walks into the room. Scudder reveals that the hotel’s assistant manager called him and told... (full context)
Act Two, Scene One
Youth, Beauty, and Time Theme Icon
Purity and Corruption Theme Icon
Boss Finley meets with George Scudder inside his house and laments the return of Chance Wayne, scowling that the wretched man... (full context)
Youth, Beauty, and Time Theme Icon
Purity and Corruption Theme Icon
...herself is already humiliated. “I felt worse than embarrassed when I found out that Dr. George Scudder ’s knife had cut the youth out of my body, made me an old childless... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Two
Purity and Corruption Theme Icon
Love, Obsession, and Pleasure Theme Icon
Escapism and Denial Theme Icon
...till she had to be cleaned and cured—I mean spayed like a dawg by Dr. George Scudder ’s knife,” he adds. (full context)