An analysis of tennessee williamss play the glass menagerie

For example, Laura is only able to live in the present very briefly. Williams attended a succession of universities before he finally received his degree in playwriting.

She does not want to become involved with the world outside of their apartment. Summary… The Glass Menagerie is a play that is very important to modern literature. He is the only boy that she ever had a crush on. Jim is another magician who manufactures illusion in the appearance of truth. The action usually shows the protagonist forced to face the truth-often after being subjected to physical or psychological degradation.

Development[ edit ] The play was reworked from one of Williams' short stories "Portrait of a Girl in Glass" ; published Later stage productions[ edit ] The Glass Menagerie has had a number of Broadway revivals. Each of them avoids reality in their own way.

Amanda sees him off warmly but, after he is gone, turns on Tom, who had not known that Jim was engaged. He is an aspiring poet who toils in a shoe warehouse to support his mother, Amanda, and sister, Laura.

The Glass Menagerie Critical Essays

Another basis for the play is a screenplay Williams wrote under the title of The Gentleman Caller. He reproaches her for her shyness and low self-esteem but praises her uniqueness. Tom and Laura do not like the dark atmosphere and their mother always tries to make it as pleasant as possible.

The Glass Menagerie ends with Amanda blaming Tom as the one who lives by dreams and illusions. He escapes the everyday racket of his mother by smoking. Tom works in a shoe factory to contribute to the family's support while dreaming of becoming a poet.

The two women do not get out much to socialize. She no longer feels that uniqueness she once shared with the unicorn, but becomes more common like Jim.

Her problem is neither that she is insensitive nor that she is an overprotective mother attempting to keep her children under her wings. She prepares an elaborate dinner and insists that Laura wear a new dress. Amanda, originally from a genteel Southern family, regales her children frequently with tales of her idyllic youth and the scores of suitors who once pursued her.

Analysis and Plot Summary of “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams

Although the scenes and characters are very vivid, there is a sense of unreality about the whole play, much like many of our memories. Part of the innocence Laura has lost is symbolized in the breaking of the unicorn. The separate scenes, then, should be seen as part of Tom's memory of a crucial time in his life.

The Glass Menagerie Analysis

This has different meanings to the characters. His sickly and mentally unstable older sister Rose provides the basis for the fragile Laura whose nickname in the play is "Blue Roses", a result of a bout of pleurosis as a high school studentthough it has also been suggested that Laura may incorporate aspects of Williams himself, referencing his introverted nature and obsessive focus on just one aspect of life writing for Williams and glass animals in Laura's case.


Amanda assumes that he will be the one for Laura. Thus, the circular movement of the play is not only underlined by the fact that Laura ends where she starts but also displayed in the emotional toll that two generations have to pay for living in an world of illusion.

The play, for example, portrays a large group of characters whose obsession with the past complicates their connection to the present. Without that link to the outside world, they would continue to live in their world of delusions.

Anthony Ross as Jim O'Connor Laurette Taylor's performance as Amanda set a standard against which subsequent actresses taking the role were to be judged, typically to their disadvantage. She is always telling Laura and Tom about the time when she was younger and had received seventeen gentlemen callers.

The Glass Menagerie

She confesses that she knew and liked him in high school but was too shy to approach him.Analysis and Plot Summary of “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams Posted by Nicole Smith, Dec 7, Fiction Comments Closed Print Before beginning this summary and analysis of “Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, it is important to point out that this play is not happening in the narrator’s (Tom’s) present, but it is based on his memories.

Play Summary Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In the Wingfield apartment in St. Louis, the mother, Amanda, lives with her crippled daughter and her working son, Tom. The play was reworked from one of Williams' short stories "Portrait of a Girl in Glass" (; published ).

The story is also written from the point of view of narrator Tom Wingfield, and many of his soliloquies from The Glass Menagerie seem lifted straight from this original.

The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, and its action is drawn from the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. Tom is a character in the play, which is set in St. Louis in Tom is a character in the play, which is set in St. Louis in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

Home / Literature / The Glass Menagerie / The Glass Menagerie Analysis Literary Devices in The Glass Menagerie. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory The Glass Menagerie is a collection of small glass animals that Laura Wingfield obsesses over.

She spends her time polishing and, well, obsessing, using. According to Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie is a “memory play.” It is narrated from the perspective of the character Tom Wingfield.

An analysis of tennessee williamss play the glass menagerie
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