Bell says Jung's ideas have always been compatible with the theater. "Look at the roots of theater," he says. "It was, in part, a healing place, with the energy of the plays all about catharsis. That's what attracted me, and if I were to design a Jungian [institute], I would place a Greek-style theater at the center."
The playwright born Thomas Williams fascinates Bell because Williams' male and female characters were drawn from his own struggles with masculinity and femininity. "You can trace Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie autobiographically to young Tom Williams," Bell says. "And Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire is Tom's counterpart -- with a bit of Cornelius, the rough beast that was Tennessee's father."
Wingfield's reaction to the women in his life was to leave them; Kowalski's was to lash out physically and sexually. Bell says both characters are perfect examples of what was happening to the American male during the 1940s, a process the analyst describes as the feminization of men prompted by "the peace movement and the feminist movement."
"In his own life," Bell says, "Tennessee was reflecting the dilemma we were about to come to culturally, where the 'cowboy man' was disappearing. The cultural icons right now are like Colin Powell -- a man's man, but sensitive." No word, however, on whether that makes modern man any less wounded.