of 58/58

The glass menagerie

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)

Text of The glass menagerie

PowerPoint Presentation


Tennessee WilliamsBorn Thomas Lanier Williams IIIMarch 26, 1911 at Columbus, Mississippi Leading playwright of his age (post-World War II)Had won prestigious awards such as Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Awards (Streetcar Named Desired & Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)His works seemed to be preoccupied with the extremes of human brutality, and sexual behavior: madness, rape, incest, nymphomania, violence, deathsDied on February 25, 1983 at the age of 71.


IntroductionPublished in 1944 by the Tenesse WilliamsThe Glass Menagerieis amemory play,and its action is drawn from the memories of the narrator.Tom Wingfield, tells the story from his present time (1940s) about his life in the 1930sThe play revolves around the escapist Tom, who is responsible to look after his crippled sister and nagging mother.The play is set against the background of depression where the characters struggle with the past, the future and with each other.

Glass Menagerie is autobiographicalWas born Thomas Lanier Williams III, but changed his name to Tennessee at the age of 28. Different sources report various reasons for the new moniker. Some claim he received the name from a college roommate, others argue that he picked it to pay tribute to his ancestors who lived in the state of Tennessee, and some think he simply wanted to break with his past and conceal his age.When Williams older sister Rose first became infatuated with a certain boy, Williams soon realized that he was also attracted to the same boy and his own sex.Two Hollywood movie versions ofThe Glass Menageriehave been produced.The Glass Menageriehas had a number of Broadway revivals

May 4, 1965 to October 2, 1965 at theBrooks Atkinson TheatreDecember 18, 1975 to February 22, 1976 at theCircle in the Square TheatreDecember 1, 1983 to February 19, 1984 at theEugene O'Neill Theatre

1989 at theRoyal Exchange, Manchesterdirected by Ian HastingsNovember 15, 1994 to January 1, 1995 at Criterion Center Stage RightMarch 22, 2005 to July 3, 2005 at theEthel Barrymore TheatreApril 2008 at theRoyal Exchange, Manchesterdirected byBraham MurrayOff-Broadway at theRoundabout Theatre Company, March 24, 2010 to June 13, 2010

The 2013 Broadway revival began previews on September 5 with an official opening on September 26, 2013 at theBooth Theatreand closed on February 23, 2014. his production received seven 2014Tony Awardnominations

Glass MenagerieCharacters


Laura and Tom's mother.A proud, vivacious woman who clings fervently to memories of a vanished, genteel past.Simultaneously admirable, charming, pitiable and laughable.

Amanda wingfield


Laura wingfieldAmanda's daughter and Tom's older sister.Laura has a bad leg, on which she has to wear a brace, and walks with a limp.Twenty-three years old and painfully shy.She has largely withdrawn herself from the outside world and devotes her time to old records and her collection of glass figurines.


Tom wingfieldAmanda's son and Laura's younger brother.An aspiring poet.Works at a shoe warehouse to support the family.He is frustrated by the numbing routine of his job and escapes from it through movies, literature and alcohol.


Jim o'conorAn old acquaintance of Tom and Laura.A popular athlete in high school.A shipping clerk at the shoe warehouse in which Tom works.He is unwaveringly devoted to goals of professional achievement and ideals of personal success.


Mr. wingfieldAmanda's husband, Laura and Tom's father.A handsome man who worked for a telephone company.Abandoned his family years before the action of the play and never reappears onstage.His picture is prominently displayed in the Wingfields' living room.


Setting of The Glass Menagerie


Wingfield Apartment in St. Louis1937

The action ofThe Glass Menagerietakes place in the Wingfield family's apartment in St. Louis, 1937. The events of the play are framed by memory -Tom Wingfieldis the play's narrator, and usually smokes and stands on the fire escape as he delivers his monologues. The narrator addresses us from the undated and eternal present, although at the play's first production (1944-5), Tom's constant indirect references to the violence of the Second World War would have been powerfully current.15

Continental Shoemakers Warehouse

The action of the play centers on Tom, his mother Amanda, and his sister Laura. In 1937 they live together in a small apartment in St. Louis. Their father abandoned them years earlier, and Tom is now the family's breadwinner. He works at the Continental Shoemakers warehouse during the day, but he disappears nightly "to the movies." Amanda is a loving mother, but her meddling and nagging are hard to live with for Tom, who is a grown man and who earns the wages that support the entire family. Laura is a frightened and terribly shy girl, with unbelievably weak nerves. She is also slightly lame in one leg, and she seldom leaves the apartment of her own volition. She busies herself caring for her "glass menagerie," a collection of delicate little glass animals.16



Tom Wingfield, the narrator, explains directly to the audience that the scenes are memory, therefore nonrealistic. Tom reveals the historical and social background of the play.Tom describes his role in the play and the other characters. One character, his father, does not appear on stage.Amanda begins describing all her gentleman-callers from her southern Blue Mountain days, and Laura simply tells her mother that none of those callers are coming for her.


Amanda tells Laura that she visited Lauras business college and now knows that she has been lying to her. Amanda whines to her daughter about her terror of what will happen to the two of them if Laura remains untrained for work, and that the only alternative is marriage.Laura tells her mother about Jim, her high school crush.Laura says marriage will not be possible because she is crippled.


After the fiasco of the business college, the idea of a gentleman caller for Laura becomes an obsession with Amanda. Tom and Amanda quarrel after she has sent back his library books without telling him. This results to a fight which ends with Tom leaving.Toms jacket breaks Lauras glass menagerie.


Tom went home drunk and loses his keys at the middle of the night. He just went home from watching a movie.The next day, Laura went to him and beg him to apologize and make up for their mother. Then, she went outside.Tom speaks and apologizes to Amanda.Amanda gave him few lessons and make him promise not to become a drunkard.

Amanda asked him how he feels about his life in their apartment and shared how Laura feels toward him.Amanda started talking about Lauras attitude and future. She also promised to Tom that he can leave the house if Laura got herself a husband.Amanda asked Tom to find Laura a gentleman caller in the warehouse where he works.


Amanda is giving instructions to Tom about his smoking.Tom narrates about Paradise Dance Hall.Amanda and Tom made a wish upon seeing the moon.Tom tells Amanda that he got Laura a gentleman caller. And was expected to come over tomorrow night for dinner.

Amanda was very excited upon hearing the news and wanted to make preparations for tomorrow.Amanda asked Tom about the name of the gentleman caller and his work and life.Tom however is much worried about Laura being different and peculiar woman. Amanda brushes it aside and called Laura to come over and make a wish to the moon.


Tom is speaking about Jim OConnor who was the most likely to succeed during their high school years.Amanda gave her best for the upcoming dinner and prepared everything by her own. Laura was well-dressed and so do Amanda.Amanda showed Laura the dress that she worn during her youth days.

Laura found out about the identity of the gentleman caller who is coming for dinner. She knew that it was her crush during her high school year.Laura after knowing it was too nervous to open the door but she doesnt have the choice because Amanda command her to do it.Jim and Tom came inside and talk about work.

Jim told Tom that Mr. Mendoza their employer is telling Jim that Tom will lose his job if he will not change.Tom told Jim that he paid his dues instead of the light bill to become a member of The Union of a Merchant. (He was planning to leave and become a seaman.)Amanda went over and started talking nonstop to Jim.

Amanda built-up Laura to Jim and called Laura to join them for supper.Laura knowing the identity of the caller, she hides in the kitchen and becoming faint and ill with a fever.Amanda told her to just stay in the living room and Jim, Amanda and Tom blessed the food.


The lights go out in the apartment so Amanda lit a candle.Amanda realizes that Tom didnt pay the light bill so as a consequence she asked him to wash the dishes with her.Jim went to Laura. They talk for a short time until Laura asked him if he still sings.Jim suddenly remembered that he met her before.

Jim tried to cheer up Laura and gave him an advice about being confident.Laura told Jim her great interest- glass collection and she showed a unicorn glass menagerie. Jim asked Laura to dance with him and so they did it. The unicorn fell and broke its horn.Jim told Laura how pretty she is and he kissed her.

Jim confesses that he wont be able to give Laura a call, text her or come again because hes already engaged. Jim accepted the invitation because his fiance is out of town. Laura handed him her favorite menagerie- the unicorn as a souvenir. Then he bid goodbye.Amanda finds out about Jims engagement and she fights with Tom. Tom runaway leaving them.




The Difficulty of Accepting Reality

Each member of the Wingfield family is unable to overcome this difficulty, and each, as a result, withdraws into a private world of illusion where he or she finds the comfort and meaning that the real world does not seem to offer.


THEME # 1The Difficulty of Accepting Reality

Of the three Wingfields, reality has by far the weakest grasp on Laura. The private world in which she lives is populated by glass animalsobjects that, like Lauras inner life, are incredibly fanciful and dangerously delicate.

THEME # 1The Difficulty of Accepting Reality

Tom is capable of functioning in the real world, as we see in his holding down a job and talking to strangers. But, in the end, he has no more motivation than Laura does to pursue professional success, romantic relationships, or even ordinary friendships, and he prefers to retreat into the fantasies provided by literature and movies and the stupor provided by drunkenness.

THEME # 1The Difficulty of Accepting Reality

Amandas relationship to reality is the most complicated in the play. Unlike her children, she is partial to real-world values and longs for social and financial success. Yet her attachment to these values is exactly what prevents her from perceiving a number of truths about her life.


The Impossibility of True Escape

Escape can mean two things here: escape from reality into an alternate world, or escape from a trap or confinement. This play hints at the moral ramifications of some kinds of escape, asking the question of who is left behind and what happens to them when you leave.45

THEME # 2The Impossibility of True Escape

The play takes an ambiguous attitude toward the moral implications and even the effectiveness of Toms escape. As an able-bodied young man, he is locked into his life not by exterior factors but by emotional onesby his loyalty to and possibly even love for Laura and Amanda.




InThe Glass Menagerie, duty and responsibility largely arise from family. The play examines the conflict between ones obligations and ones real desires, suggesting that being true to one may necessitate abandonment of the other. We also see that duties are gender specific, and arise largely from the expectations of societal norms.

Other Themes

Other Themes



Other Themes




Lauras Glass Menagerie

symbolismsLauras collection of glass animal figurines represents a number of facets of her personality. The menagerie also represents the imaginative world to which Laura devotes herselfa world that is colorful and enticing but based on fragile illusions.

Like the figurines, Laura is delicate, fanciful, and somehow old-fashioned. Glass is transparent, but, when light is shined upon it correctly, it refracts an entire rainbow of colors. 53

The Glass Unicorn

The glass unicorn in Lauras collectionsignificantly, her favorite figurerepresents her peculiarity.Laura too is unusual, lonely, and ill-adapted to existence in the world in which she lives. The fate of the unicorn is also a smaller-scale version of Lauras fate in Scene Seven.symbolisms

The Fire Escape

The fire escape, a physical symbol, is used symbolically to represent various aspects of being trapped or as a method of escape. As Williams writes, the "huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation." symbolisms


Play Summary. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/g/the-glass-menagerie/play-summary

The Glass Unicorn. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=glass+menagerie&biw=1366&bih=638&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdmbacjIfQAhXHzLwKHS6NCe8Q_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=The+Glass+Unicorn&imgrc=5W5xr9Cn8Z60-M%3A

The Fire Escape. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=themes&biw=1366&bih=589&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiMwP2UoYfQAhWGxbwKHZDyAVQQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=The+Fire+Escape&imgrc=4RQ-vL9Ne3UakM%3A


The Glass Menagerie. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from http://www.shmoop.com/glass-menagerie/dreams-hopes-plans-theme.html

The Glass Menagerie. Retrieved November 1, 2016 from http://debbiejlee.com/the_glass_menagerie.pdf