The play The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, is told as a flashback from the point of view of the character Tom Wingfield. He narrates the play as well. It is set in St. Louis in the year 1937. Tom works to support his mother, Amanda, as well as his sister Laura. Laura is extremely shy, and her mother is not happy with her because she does not attract any “gentlemen callers.” Laura gets enrolled in a business school by her mother, in hopes that she will go into a business career and earn money for herself and her family. A few weeks after, Laura drops out of business school due to her shyness, and wanders the streets of St. Louis during the day. When she is caught by her mother after she visits the business school, Laura tells her “I’ve just been going walking” (Williams 1166). It is then decided that the only hope left in Laura is in marriage. Laura then begins to sell magazine subscriptions in hopes that this job will not only earn her money, but attract a gentleman caller as well. Tom, who works in a shoe warehouse, is a slight alcoholic. He tries to get away from the job that he doesn’t like by drinking, watching movies, and reading literature. Tom often argues with his mother Amanda, and in one of these frequent arguments, Tom accidently breaks a few of Laura’s glass animals. These glass animals are her most prized possessions, so Laura is upset but forgiving.
Have you all heard of taylor swift? The countless boyfriends she has had. The way that every single one of her songs symbolizes one of her relationships. Is it weird that she cannot keep a man? Likewise, Tennessee WIlliams uses his play The Glass Menagerie to symbolize his personal life. The play is about the Wingfield family. A fatherless family that includes a mother, a sister, and Tom Wingfield as the narrator of the play and a character in it. Tennessee Williams uses his memory play The Glass Menagerie to symbolically reflect his life through the character of Tom Wingfield.
Williams’s play is a tragedy, and one of quietude. He once expressed that “Glass Menagerie is my first quiet play, and perhaps my last.” It is a play of profound sadness, and through relationships between characters, portrays the “cries of the heart.” There is no cry more powerful that the cry and inner desperation of the heart. Williams’s has very little social context, but rather focuses on the conflicts within a domestic family. Such a focus is powerful, and the playwright expresses this power and importance implicitly through the estranged relationship between Amanda and Tom Wingfield.
Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, describes three separate characters, their dreams, and the harsh realities they face in a modern world. The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. Williams' use of symbols adds depth to the play. The glass menagerie itself is a symbol Williams uses to represent the broken lives of Amanda, Laura and Tom Wingfield and their inability to live in the present.
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), born Thomas Lanier Williams and is considered by be one of the leading playwright of his age and post-World War II America. He took many of the elements of his plays from his own life. He was born in Columbus, MS, to a violent, aggressive traveling salesman and a high-minded, puritanical, preacher 's daughter. He had an older sister named Rose, who he adored, but suffered from mental problems that eventually caused her to be institutionalized. Rose was the model for several of Williams characters,His family moved to St. Louis at some point in his childhood. Williams attended a succession of universities before he finally received his degree in playwriting. Between stints in college, he worked for three years in a shoe factory.
The masterful use of symbolism is delightfully ubiquitous in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” He uses a collection of dim, dark and shadowy symbols that constantly remind the audience of the lost opportunity each of these three characters continually experience. This symbolism is not only use to enlighten the audience to their neglected opportunities to shine, but it is also repeatedly utilized to reinforce the ways in which the characters try in vain to cross over turbulent waters into a world of light and clarity. It is thematically a wrenching story of life gone by, and the barren attempts to realize another reality that is made more poignant by symbolic language, objects, setting, lighting and music. The characters are
One of the big motivations shown through the characters in The Glass Menagerie is the yearning of escape from the real world. One example shown through Laura’s character is she finds a way to escape reality through her glass menagerie and the old records she plays that once belonged to their father. The mother, Amanda, tries to escape her current life as a deserted wife who must constantly scramble for money by retelling stories of when she was young. Her favorite story to retell regards one day when she received the attentions of seventeen gentleman callers. For her, those gentleman callers represent what her life was and what it could have been if she had not married her husband, “the telephone man who fell in love with long
In Tennessee Williams's drama The Glass Menagerie the setting and dramatization in the play are used to convey each member of the family's hopes, desperations, and fears. He uses symbols throughout the story to add a deeper meaning and give his characters a sense of mystery. Also, though maybe inadvertently, The Glass Menagerie actually parallels the people and events in Tennessee Willliams's life.
In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams beautifully encapsulates man’s desire to escape from uncomfortable emotional and physical situations. Whether he’s showing a young man trapped in a factory job he hates, an aging single mother who mourns for her life as Southern belle, or a young lady who fears that she’ll spend her life alone, he clearly demonstrates these desires and fears for his audience. Williams shows us through the actions of his characters how humans handle a wide variety of uncomfortable situations, and how these situations dramatically influence one’s ability to thrive. The playwright doesn’t seem to believe in the idea of “bloom where you’re planted”, and the desire to escape becomes a major theme of the play, demonstrated across multiple characters in a wide variety of ways. Creative individuals often do not thrive in noncreative, industrial environments. Williams demonstrates this clearly in this “memory play”, which carries many autobiographical element. Tom Wingfield represents his own character, Williams himself, and also serves as a narrator, making him quite the complex character. Williams’s uses Tom to show how an emotionally complex, creative individual can quickly feel trapped and tied down in a factory job, longing to get out, see the world, and pursue a job with more creative elements. Tom’s escapism, drinking, and evening theatrical adventures all reflect the life of the playwright himself, as Williams was known to struggle with alcoholism
“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams is a play about desire to escape and this concept is conveyed through a variety of techniques and ideas shown in this play of exploration by the playwright, Tom Wingfield. First, Jim tries to escape his engagement by having a romantic night with Laura. Then, Tom’s father escapes for the same reasons Tom did. Thirdly, according to Roger Boxill from ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Amanda escapes by reminiscing “Blue Mountain ... And the seventeen gentleman callers.” Fourthly, Laura escapes with romance, going for walks, her “Glass Menagerie, stomach pain, and the broken horn from the unicorn. Finally, Tom escapes by traveling, going to the movies, drinking, and hanging out on the fire escape looking at the moon. Symbolism is also used in many literary works to for shadow or emphasizes an event that is about to happen or already has happened in the story. Hence the title ‘The Glass Menagerie’ in the play foreshadows/emphasizes the event happening or about to happen. The action of “The Glass Menagerie” takes place in the Wingfield family’s apartment in St. Louis, 1937. The events of the play are framed by memory Tom Wingfield is the play’s narrator, and usually smokes and stands on the fire escape as he delivers his monologues.
The Glass Menagerie is arguably the most symbolic and deep plays ever written. The Glass Menagerie isn’t just a story of Laura’s disability, it has a deeper meaning behind it, and it can be easily overlooked by mediocre minds. Although the story revolves around the Wingfield family, Tennessee Williams throws in symbolism that corresponds with his childhood. In a way, he found closure for the loss of his sister Rose through writing The Glass Menagerie. One of the symbols is the play that holds a different meaning for each of the characters is the fire escape. As the play evolves the fire escape brings out Laura’s, Tom’s, and Amanda’s true desires.
18. Discuss the symbolism of the glass menagerie in relation to Laura. How, for example, does Laura resemble the glass animals? What does the unicorn represent at first, and what does it represent once its horn has been broken?
In “The Glass Menagerie”, by Tennessee Williams, Jim O’Connor calls Laura Wingfield a blue rose and it represents the first feelings of love between Laura and Jim, the delicacy of Laura, and a sense of caution or the impossible. Jim and Laura know each other from high school, and when they once spoke to each other, Laura tells him that she had been absent from school because she had pleurosis, but Jim hears blue roses. From this point on, he calls her blue roses. When they are “reunited”, Jim remembers what he once called her, and once again, he calls her blue roses. Throughout the book, the symbolism of blue rose is shown.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams had ordinary people in an ordinary life that closely resembled the influences of Williams’ personal life while having reoccurring themes and motifs throughout the story. The play has been done by many with some variations in the scripts and setting while still clinging to the basic ideas of the original play.
Written in 1944, Tennessee Williams wrote a play during World War II when people were barely making ends meet. Centering on the Wingfield family, the story consisted of five characters: Amanda Wingfield (the mother), Laura Wingfield (the daughter), Tom Wingfield (son, narrator, Laura’s older brother), Jim Connor (Tom and Laura’s old acquaintance from high school) and Mr. Wingfield (father to Tom and Laura, and Amanda’s husband)- who abandoned the family long before the start of the play. The title, “The Glass Menagerie”, represented a collection of glass animals on display in the Wingfields’ home. At one point or another, these animals then represented each character when they couldn’t accept reality. The theme of this play were about the