THE GLASS MENAGERIE by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, which consists of seven scenes and the action is drawn from the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. He explains directly to the audience that the scenes are “memory,” so nonrealistic.
The play is set in St. Louis (USA) in 1937 where Wingfield family lived in a shabby apartment.Tom is a character in the play; he is a poet who works in a shoe warehouse to support his mother and sister. He is frustrated by the routine of his job and escapes from it through movies, literature, and alcohol.
Amanda, Tom`s mother. She is a proud possessive woman, she is from a genteel Southern family, who lives in the past and regrets her present. She is always taking about the seventeengentleman callers she had in her youth.
And Laura, Tom`s sister, is too shy and is unable to have a life outside of the apartment, she wears a brace on her leg and and she only interacts with a collection of glass animals.
Tom also tells the audience about the most realistic character, Jim, who will be Laura's gentleman caller; and the photograph of his long-absent father, who ran away years ago.Amanda is disappointed that Laura, doesn`t attract any gentlemen callers. For that reason she enrolls Laura in a business college, hoping that she will make her own and the family’s fortune through a business career. But weeks later, Amanda discovers that Laura’s shyness has led her to drop out of the class and spend her days wandering the city alone.
Amanda then decides that Laura’s solutionmust be in marriage and begins selling magazine subscriptions to earn the extra money; she believes will help to attract suitors for Laura.
Meanwhile, Tom, who hates his warehouse job, finds escape in liquor, movies, and literature, much to his mother’s distaste. During one of the frequent fights between mother and son, Tom accidentally breaks several of the glass animal figurines that areLaura’s most prized possessions.
Amanda and Tom discuss Laura’s prospects, and Amanda asks Tom to look for a suitor at the warehouse to Laura.
Tom selects Jim O’Connor, a casual friend, and invites him to dinner.
Amanda quizzes Tom about Jim and she prepares an elaborate dinner. She insists that Laura wear a new dress.
At the last minute, Laura knows the name of her suitor, and she realizes thatJim is the boy that she was in love in the High School.
When Jim arrives, Laura answers the door and then quickly disappears, leaving Tom and Jim alone.
Tom confides to Jim that he has used the money for his family’s electric bill to join the Merchant Marine and plans to leave his job and family in search of adventure.
Laura refuses to eat dinner with the others, feigning illness.
Amanda,wearing an ostentatious dress from her glamorous youth, talks cheerfully with Jim throughout the meal.
Dinner is ending and the lights go out as a consequence of the unpaid electric bill. So they have to light candles. Tom and Amanda go out of the room and Laura confesses to Jim that she knew and liked him in high school but was too shy to approach him.
They continue talking, and Laura remindshim of the nickname he had given her: “Blue Roses,” an accidental corruption of pleurosis, an illness Laura had in high school.
He reproaches her for her shyness and low self-esteem but praises her uniqueness.
Laura then shows him her favorite glass animal, a unicorn. But when they are dancing Jim accidentally knocks over the unicorn, breaking off its horn.
Laura forgives him and says thatnow the unicorn is a normal horse.
Jim kisses her, but he quickly apologizes, explaining that he actually has a serious girlfriend.
Resigned, Laura offers him the broken unicorn as a souvenir.
Amanda enters the living room, full of good cheer.
Suddenly, Jim explains that he must leave because of an appointment with his fiancée.
Amanda sees him off warmly but, after he is gone, she blames...