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The Glass Menagerie

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by

Janice Rabian

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of The Glass Menagerie

Tom reflects on his final days before leaving his family, his mother, Amanda, and his sister, Laura. Desperate for Laura to entertain a "gentleman caller" Amanda begs Tom to bring home a male friend. In compliance, Tom asks his coworker Jim {Laura's secret high school crush} to dinner. Laura and Amanda's hopes are dashed when it is revealed that Jim is engaged to be married. In a final argument, Tom storms out, leaving his family.
Summary
Aristotle and "The Glass Menagerie
Plot
Characters
Thought
Diction
Music
Spectacle
Physical World
The World of "The Glass Menagerie"
USA 1940s

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor {December 7 1941} launched US into World War II
Manufacturing of wartime artillery
Peacetime draft
The Great Migration
Consumer goods rationing
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie
Plot
Memory Play
Elements both episodic and climactic
Elements both linear and circular
Characters
Crippled
Physically
Emotionally
Compassionate
Axis of plot
Most symbolic in nature
Glass Menagerie
Lives in her own world
Laura Wingfield
Narrator
Double Role
Works in warehouse
Wants to be a Poet
Dreams of adventure
Contradictory in nature
Complex relationship in family
Tom Wingfield
Tom and Laura's mother
Southern belle
Used to higher social status
Extroverted and Theatrical
Lives in a fantasy
Not evil... just flawed
Amanda Wingfield
Jim O'Connor
Laura's high school crush
Laura's ideal
Works in warehouse with Tom
Likable, social, helpful
American dream
Plot driving factor
Engaged
The Gentleman Caller
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams
{March 26 1922 - February 24 1983}

South American dramatist
Second of three children [siblings Rose and Dakin]
Graduated from University of Iowa
Moved to New Orleans
Began using pen name "Tennessee"
John Gassner's playwriting seminar
Rose lobotomized 1943
"The Glass Menagerie"
The Pulitzer Prize
Drugs and Alcohol
Medal of Freedom
Died choking on medicine bottle cap
Music
Emphasize themes and enhance drama
Nostalgia
Music can be extra-diagetic - coming from outside the play
"The Glass Menagerie" by Paul Bowles
Primarily Laura's music
"...It weaves in and out of your preoccupied consciousness; then it is the lightest, most delicate music in the world and perhaps the saddest" - Williams
Spectacle
Thought
Symbols

Laura's Glass Menagerie
The Glass Unicorn
Blue Roses
The Fire Escape
Paradise Dance Hall
Jonquils
Gentleman Caller
Movies
Intellectual Content "Themes"

Illusion vs. Reality
Abandonment
War and Strife
Memory
Freedom of Choice
Expectations vs. Obligations
Marriage
Poetic Realism and Memory
justjared.com
americanrepetorytheater.org
whattalking.com
edgeboston.com
Not realistic
Dimness - atmosphere of memory
Lighting focus on characters or areas, not necessarily on apparent center of action
Laura's light
Lighting
The Screen Device/Convention
nydailynews.com
Physical World
Pre-WWII
Winter - Spring St. Louis 1937
Small apartment, back of building
Book-ended by two dark alleyways
Fire escape leading to door
Door leading to sitting room/Laura's room
Glass Menagerie
Father's portrait on mantle
Curtain dividing room from dining room
Small table
Dance hall nearby [unseen]
Close enough for music to be heard
Movie theater nearby
Costumes
jbactors.com
jessicalange.weebly.com
sandiegojewishworld.com
stldotage.blogspot.com
"This play is a memory"
Thank you!
3rdbillion.net
Screen originally scripted in show [left in Anthology's version]
Eliminated from show before Broadway debut
Used to refer to importance
Slate for impersonal commentary on events and characters
Epitome of William's expressionist theatrical style
Worried episodic plot line would seem fragmented to audience
Screen used to call audience's attention to main points
metro.us
broadwayworld.com
christopherhbell.weebly.com
Idea of the Play:
You cannot escape your past, present, or future.
Cultural World
Inside the Play
Magazine subscriptions
Liquor
Film
Literature
Education
Outside the Play
the 1930s
Works Consulted

Jacobus, Lee. The Bedford Introduction to Drama. Sixth. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin's, 2009.
1031-33. Print.

"Laura Wingfield: Character Analysis." Shmoop: We Speak Student. Shmoop University, Web. 2014.

Odak, Sheila. "Study Guide: Understanding Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie." Bright Hub
Education. Bright Hub Education, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Rankin, Douglas. "Dramatic Structure: Climactic, Episodic, and Other Forms." Monmouth College
Department of Theatre. Monmouth College, n.d. Web. 4 Apr 2014.

Smiley, Gene. "THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY." CHAPTER 8: THE AMERICAN
ECONOMY DURING THE 1940s. Pg 8-19. rev. 13 May 1993. Web. 12 March 2014.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Glass Menagerie.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2003.
Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Sutton, Bettye. "1930-1939." American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood
Library, 1999. Web. 7 Feb. 2011.

"The Glass Menagerie: Analysis of Major Characters." SparkNotes. Web. 2014.

Williams, Tennessee. "Production Notes." 1944. The Bedford Intorduction to Drama. By Lee A.
Jacobus. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 1031-032. Print.

Williams, Tennsessee. "The Glass Menagerie." Jacobus, Lee A. The Bedford Introduction to Drama,
Sixth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 1029-1062



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