Amanda tells her children about the many suitors she had when she was the age of her daughter, Laura. She wonders why Laura does not attract suitors. Amanda enrolls Laura in a business college so that she can provide for herself when she graduates. However, Amanda comes to learn that Laura dropped out of college and spent time polishing her glass menagerie. Disappointed, Amanda tells Tom to look for a suitor for his sister and he agrees to bring Jim who turns out to be engaged, thereby disappointing the family.
Critics have argued that the book is not rich in thematic concerns. Although the writer does not explicitly show an intention of presenting the theme, it comes out clearly based on the conversation between Amanda and Laura. The question opens a conversation that reveals the theme of marriage and love as one of the main ideas that Williams presents in the text. Amanda claims that failure to get married prepares women for lowliness and forces them to live sorrow lives. She claims that women that are not married are tossed from relative to another as they look for a place to end their loneliness Williams Interestingly, Amanda does not say anything concerning love in marriage.
Laura remembers Jim and tells her mother that he is the only person that she has had love for in her life. Williams builds the theme of love as something that develops after a character is abandoned.
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Also, Laura remembers Jim at the time she cannot get him. Besides, she feels weak when she discovers that Jim is engaged.
Although Jim and Laura been out of touch for a long time, their interactions lead to a kiss that gets Laura out of her shell and confesses that she liked Jim from the time they were in school Williams By portraying Jim praising Laura for her uniqueness the author builds the theme of love in a way that suggests that the two characters may want to get married in future. For instance, the author reveals that Laura shows Jim her favorite artwork and he likes it. In his conversation with the mother, Tom expresses his displeasure with the five-dollar salary and claims that he can abandon the family just like the father did.
By showing Tom contemplating to abandon the family after his argument with his mother, Williams manages to connect the themes of dreams and aspirations with abandonment and family conflicts. The theme of abandonment is also seen when Tom quarrels with his mother and leaves home for unnamed location. Although Tom makes the final decision to abandon the family, Williams presents him thinking a lot about his sister. The thoughts indicate that Tom is haunted by his decision to abandon his sister and mother. Williams uses the experiences of Tom at the workplace and home to bring out the theme of freedom and confinement.
The author uses the claim to show that Tom is confined to his workplace and he lacks freedom. As a poet, Tom feels that his talent is threatened by his continuous stay at the shoe factory. However, Williams portrays him as an individual with little options given that he has to take care of the family. Regarding the theme of dreams and aspirations, Williams builds the play in a way that portrays Tom, Laura and their father as individuals that are constantly pursuing their dreams but fail in most of their attempts.
For instance, Laura dreams of becoming a successful artist, but her mother interrupts her aspirations as she sends her to a business school and always reminds her to get a boyfriend. The author uses the conversation among the characters and their memories to show how the play explores the theme of failed dreams.
The argument is based on the setting of the play in that the acts revolve around one environment. The Glass Menagerie was Williams' first successful play; he went on to become one of America's most highly regarded playwrights. A faded Southern belle , abandoned by her husband, who is trying to raise her two children under harsh financial conditions.
Amanda yearns for the comforts of her youth and also longs for her children to have the same comforts, but her devotion to them has made her—as she admits at one point—almost "hateful" towards them. Amanda's son. Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support his family but is frustrated by his job and aspires to be a poet.
He struggles to write, all the while being sleep-deprived and irritable. Yet, he escapes from reality through nightly excursions to the movies. Tom feels both obligated toward yet burdened by his family and longs to escape. Amanda's daughter and Tom's elder sister. A childhood illness has left her with a limp, and she has a mental fragility and an inferiority complex that has isolated her from the outside world.
She has created a world of her own symbolized by her collection of glass figurines. The unicorn may represent Laura because it is unique and fragile.
An old high school acquaintance of Tom and Laura. Jim was a popular athlete and actor during his days at Soldan High School.
Subsequent years have been less kind to Jim; however, and by the time of the play's action, he is working as a shipping clerk at the same shoe warehouse as Tom. His hope to shine again is conveyed by his study of public speaking and ideas of self-improvement that appear related to those of Dale Carnegie. Amanda's absent husband, and Laura's and Tom's father. Wingfield was a handsome man, full of charm, who worked for a telephone company and eventually "fell in love with long-distance," abandoning his family 16 years before the play's action.
Although he does not appear onstage, Mr. Wingfield is frequently referred to by Amanda, and his picture is prominently displayed in the Wingfields' living room. This unseen character appears to incorporate elements of Williams' father.
The play is introduced to the audience by Tom, the narrator and protagonist, as a memory play based on his recollection of his mother Amanda and his sister Laura. Because the play is based on memory, Tom cautions the audience that what they see may not be precisely what happened. Amanda Wingfield, a faded Southern belle of middle age, shares a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son Tom, in his early twenties, and his slightly older sister, Laura.
She worries especially about the future of her daughter Laura, a young woman with a limp an after-effect of a bout of polio and a tremulous insecurity about the outside world. Tom works in a shoe warehouse doing his best to support the family. Amanda is obsessed with finding a suitor or, as she puts it, a "gentleman caller" for Laura, her daughter, whose crippling shyness has led her to drop out of both high school and a subsequent secretarial course, and who spends much of her time polishing and arranging her collection of little glass animals.
Pressured by his mother to help find a caller for Laura, Tom invites Jim, an acquaintance from work, home for dinner.
The delighted Amanda spruces up the apartment, prepares a special dinner, and converses coquettishly with Jim, almost reliving her youth when she had an abundance of suitors calling on her. Laura discovers that Jim is the boy she was attracted to in high school and has often thought of since, though the relationship between the shy Laura and the "most likely to succeed" Jim was never more than a distant, teasing acquaintanceship. Initially, Laura is so overcome by shyness that she is unable to join the others at dinner, and she claims to be ill. After dinner, however, Jim and Laura are left alone by candlelight in the living room, waiting for the electricity to be restored.
Tom has not paid the power bill, which hints to the audience that he is banking the bill money and preparing to leave the household.
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As the evening progresses, Jim recognizes Laura's feelings of inferiority and encourages her to think better of herself. He and Laura share a quiet dance, in which he accidentally brushes against her glass menagerie, knocking a glass unicorn to the floor and breaking off its horn.
Jim then compliments Laura and kisses her. After Jim tells Laura that he is engaged to be married, Laura asks him to take the broken unicorn as a gift and he then leaves. When Amanda learns that Jim is to be married, she turns her anger upon Tom and cruelly lashes out at him, although Tom did not know that Jim was engaged. Tom seems quite surprised by this, and it is possible that Jim was only making up the story of the engagement as he felt that the family was trying to set him up with Laura, and he had no romantic interest in her.
The play concludes with Tom saying that he left home soon afterward and never returned. He then bids farewell to his mother and sister and asks Laura to blow out the candles. It then moved to the Royale Theatre from July 1, , until its closing on August 3, The show was directed by Eddie Dowling and Margo Jones. The cast for opening night was as follows:. Laurette Taylor's performance as Amanda set a standard against which subsequent actresses taking the role was to be judged, typically to their disadvantage. The characters and story mimic Williams' own life more closely than any of his other works.
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