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The Glass Menagerie Presentation

A book club visual project presentation based on the play written by Tennessee Williams.
by

Chelsea LaCombe

on 4 May 2011

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Transcript of The Glass Menagerie Presentation

The Glass Menagerie Major Themes Accepting Reality The members of the family can't accept reality, and due to that, they each go into their own little worlds, worlds that are different from the real world. The family can't escape "The Coffin." In Scene 4, Tom attends a magic show, where the magician escapes from a nailed coffin without removing a nail. Tom sees himself and his family trapped in a coffin and that they can't escape. Life Inside A Nailed Coffin This play is completely based on memory. Everything in the play is based upon memory, such as the music and the detailing of Tom's surroundings. The interactions among each character are too exact to be real, giving it the illusion that it's based upon a person's memory. Memory Everything that makes the play the way it is is because of everyone abandoning everyone and everything they know to chase after their dreams. Mr. Wingfield deserted the family many years before the play took place to follow after his dream, and and the end of the play Tom leaves the family as well for the same reason. Abandonment Music Music can be found almost everywhere in the book. Since it is a play based upon a person's memory, music that correlates with what's going on in the scene plays in the background. It is also is an escape for Laura from facing reality, and the music from the dance hall that is across the street from the Wingfield's apartment takes those nearby with an alluring pull into a different world away from reality. Characters Mother of Laura and Tom, Amanda became the matriarch of the house after her husband left several years before the play takes place. She’s always caught up in her past, when she was young and was constantly visited by “gentleman callers.” While overexerting an aura of grace and elegance, she tries to make her children, especially Laura, live and embrace the lavish lifestyle she had once lived when she was their age. Amanda Wingfield Tom, the youngest of the two Wingfield siblings and an avid closet poet, works at Continental Shoemakers, being the sole provider of income for the entire house. He dislikes the way Amanda acts towards him and Laura, and finds his escape through the adventure of movies. And just like his father, he constantly dreams of one day leaving the house and going on an adventure of his own, like the characters in the movies do. Tom Wingfield Mr. Wingfield While he is non-existent in The Glass Menagerie, Mr. Wingfield is a prominent member of the play. He, just like the other members of the Wingfield family, struggled with facing reality for what it really is. Constantly caught up in his dreams, he finally left to fulfill his desires, leaving his family to fend for themselves. Laura Wingfield The oldest of the two Wingfield siblings, Laura enjoys living in a world of her own with her music and her tiny glass figurines. Due to the extremity of her shyness, she dropped out of the school her mother sent her to and spent many days meandering throughout the city. She doesn’t have many “gentleman callers” coming around due to her crippled leg, something her mother refuses to come to terms with. Jim O'Connor Originally introduced in the play as Tom’s outgoing coworker, it is revealed that Jim was the object of Laura’s affections in high school. He strives to be successful in his life, both in a professional and personal level, and devotes himself to pursuing his goals and ideas. Novel Summary Allusion "No, sister, no, sister- you be the lady this time and I'll be the darky."
-Amanda, pg.7 Foreshadowing "The play is a memory. Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic."
-Tom, pg.5 Question Rhetorical "What? No one- not one?"
-Amanda, pg.10 Imagery Laura is seated in the delicate ivory chair at the small clawfoot table.
-Scene Notes, pg.11 Hyperbole "I just wanted to find a hole in the ground and hide myself in it forever."
-Amanda, pg.12 Diction "You did this all to decieve me, just for deception?"
-Amanda, pg.15 "No, it's in a yearbook."
"Oh- a high school boy."
-Laura and Amanda, pg.16 Seven Literary Devices Author's Purpose "The Glass Menagerie" is a story about Tom and his sister Laura. These characters portray the story of Tennessee Williams' life. Like Tom, Tennessee was a shoe clerk that love to write but was held back by his relatives. All the events in the story are based of the life of Tennessee and his friends. This is like his autobiography with a twist. Tennessee was a man that wanted us to see what his life was really like in the time of the Great Depression: how they lived, and how they escaped reality. This tale is a lesson to show us that with every cloud is a silver lining. Important "But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out without removing one nail. There is a trick that would come in handy for me- get me out of this two-by-four situation."
-Tom, pg. 27 This quote is important because Tom relates this trick to his family, and sees them as trapped inside a coffin. Quotes "I married no planter. I married a man who worked for the telephone company... A telephone man who- fell in love with long-distance."
-Amanda, pg. 64 This quote is important because Mr. Wingfield had left the family to chase after his dream, which left the family in the situation that they are currently facing. "I descended the steps of the fire escape for the last time and followed, from then on, in my father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space... Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be."
-Tom, pg. 96-97 Tom was trying to leave his family for the longest time, but couldn't because of Laura. Metaphor "I didn't go to the moon, I went much further- for time is the longest distance between two places."
-Tom, pg.96 “Laura, come here and make a wish on the moon.”
“Moon- moon?”
“A little silver slipper of a moon. Look over your shoulder, Laura, and make a wish. Now. Now, darling, wish.”
“What shall I wish for, Mother?”
-Amanda and Laura, pg. 49 This quote is important because it demonstrates how much Laura is out of touch with the realistic world. She’s so caught up in her little dreamlike world of music and glass ornaments that she doesn’t know how to function in reality, such as knowing of small superstitions. This quote is important because Mr. Wingfield had left the family to chase after his dream, which left the family in the situation that they are currently facing. “And you- when I see you taking after his ways. Staying out late- Staying out late- and- well, you had been drinking the night you were in that- terrifying condition. Laura says that you hate the apartment and that you go out nights to get away from it. Is that true, Tom?”
-Amanda, pg. 33 The Glass Menagerie is a look inside a memory of the life of a small family in the 1930’s, living in a small apartment in St. Louis. It starts with a typical night in the Wingfield household, with Amanda gushing details from her past, about how she was popular with boys when she was her children’s age, and is rather disappointed in how her daughter Laura doesn’t have any “gentleman callers” or makes any effort to attract them.
The next day, Amanda discovers that Laura dropped out of business school and has been spending time wandering throughout the city, and decides that Laura’s last hope for a successful future lies in the form of marriage. Laura gushes that the only guy she ever liked was a popular boy back in high school, which frustrates her mother even more. Amanda isn’t happy with her son Tom, and how he goes out every night to go see the movies.
Amanda later reveals her plan to Tom about finding a man for Laura, and asks Tom to invite one of his coworkers over to dinner for her. He succeeds in his quest, and invites his outgoing coworker Jim O’Connor over to dinner the next night. Amanda tells Laura about the guest attending dinner and Laura becomes a nervous wreck, for Jim O’Connor was her high school crush.
Tom comes home later that night with Jim trailing behind, and tells him that he didn’t pay the electricity bill and instead used the money to join the merchant marine. Laura becomes quiet and shy around Jim and feints illness during dinner time, leaving Amanda to entertain Jim through conversation. After dinner is finished, the lights go out, as consequence to Tom’s neglecting to pay the electricity bill. Amanda sends Jim with a light candle to go talk to Laura while she and Tom clean dishes, and he does just that. After awhile, Laura opens up to Jim, revealing that she liked him in high school but was too shy to say anything to him. Music fills the room from the music hall across the street, and Jim convinces Laura to dance with him. During their dance, Jim accidentally breaks the horn off of Laura’s favorite glass ornament, a unicorn, but becomes distracted by Laura and kisses her. Immediately afterwards, he reveals that he is engaged to another girl and that while he cares about Laura, he shouldn’t come back to their apartment after this.
He soon leaves after Amanda and Tom come into the room, and Amanda takes her anger over the failure of setting Laura up out on Tom. After Jim’s visit to the Wingfield apartment, Tom leaves the family to chase after his dreams, just like his father, to become a merchant sailor. In his final words, he reveals that no matter how hard he tries, he cannot forget about the sister that he had left behind. Reading Strategies Schema “I thought you were an adult; it seems that I was mistaken.” –Amanda, pg. 12 -I wonder if this is going to be about Laura acting immaturely or not doing what Amanda wanted Laura to do.
-This reminds me of when parents confront their about something negative that happened, because of the anger that appears to be in Amanda’s voice. Inference When movie tickets fall out of Tom’s pocket as he searches for his house key, we can infer that Tom had spent his night at the movie theater because we know from previous knowledge that whenever we attend a show at a movie theater, we always get a movie stub back as a receipt. Questioning Thin Questioning Thick Questioning Where does Tom go at night?
-He goes to the movies. What is common among all of the Wingfield family members in the play?
-Each member seems to struggle with facing reality, for all of them are caught up in their own dreams. Determining Importance Scene Two
Topic: Amanda wants Laura to have a successful future
Details: She sends Laura to business school, gets upset when she finds out that Laura dropped out, and comes up with another idea to secure a successful future for Laura, which is getting married.
Response: Why can’t Laura make an effort to do something with her life, to strive for a future outside of music and glass figurines? Monitoring Meaning and Comprehension “One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain- your mother received- seventeen- gentleman callers. Why, sometimes there weren’t enough chairs to accommodate them all.” –Amanda, pg. 8
-I don’t get understand what Amanda is saying on page 8.
-I don’t quite get why she’s talking about gentleman callers.
-Amanda is talking about guys who wanted to date her, back in Blue Mountain.
-Before this quote, Amanda was talking to Laura about looking pretty for any guy who could be visiting.
-It seems that “gentleman callers” are a common thing for Amanda to talk about further in the book. Evoking Images -“Blue Roses,” Jim’s nickname for Laura in high school
-Tom’s description of the magician’s coffin trick Fragile Memories Dreams Reality Trapped Content Adventure
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