This essay explores the credibility of The Glass Menagerie as a believable, realistic play; given that its narrator says that the play is based on memories and memories can be distorted at will. This thesis states…
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In Act One, Scene One, the stage setting is described as having a ‘dark, grim rear wall of the Wingfield tenement’. There are stage directions where the actors and actresses enter and exit the stage using the props like stairs and this is difficult or impossible to accomplish using an arena stage. (Williams 12).An arena stage is a central stage that has surrounding seats and this gives no leeway except to ascend or descend from the stage. Then the actor or actress has to sit down at the level of the audience, or walk all the way to the nearest dressing room. An arena stage is similar to a theater in the round, which has the audience seated on all sides of the performance stage. A thrust stage is most suited for this play because it allows the actors and actresses entrance and exit routes and help to make the play a realistic drama.
In Act One, Scene One, the stage directions say that; ‘The scene is memory and is therefore non-realistic.’ (Williams 12). Amanda and Laura are seated at the dinner table behind the scrim to symbolize their need for privacy since they are eating. Williams highlights the unrealistic nature of the play by stating that; ‘Eating is done by gestures without food or utensils.’ (Williams 15). This play is also unusual in having a character, Tom, in the play, assume the multiple roles of being the narrator and stage director too. This makes the play realistic because the play is Tom’s testimony.
Some characters are unrealistic in the play. In Act One, Scene Two, Amanda discovers that Laura has been skipping her typing class and deliberately deceiving her. Laura is an unrealistic dreamer. She fails to understand the importance of earning her stripes with a formal education and getting a relevant job to be self-supportive, if not contributing to the family household income. Tom is rooted in realism although his responses to the pressure are human and hints of escapism. Amanda
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Tennessee Williams is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights in America. He explored emotional and sexual feelings of the main characters and often referred to his personal experience. That is why his works have been always appealing for the audience.
The Gentleman Caller is the other character in the play who serves as a catalyst to the plot. The Glass Menagerie is the story of broken promises and disappointments in the backdrop of economic turmoil.
Tom also took on the responsibilities of tending to the well-being of his ill and painfully shy younger sister. However, Tom’s ignorance and selfishness gets the better of him, a behavior that had been building up until it reached a boiling point at the end of the play, resulting in Laura’s emotional distress.
We know that he hates his mother for her interference in his ways and for her lack of understanding of his plight. But Tom the narrator is far wiser and mature. He has greater perspectives on the troubled lives of the Wing fields because he is removed in time and space.
Summary of the Play: Set in St. Louis in the mid-1930s, 'Glass Menagerie' is described as a 'memory' play, that is, the writer has created the work from memories of his life; it truly replicates Williams' own experiences. There is no doubt as to its autobiographical nature, as the three main characters, Tom, Amanda and Laura Wingfield represent himself, his mother Edwina, and his sister Rose, and some of the events in their lives, using Tom Wingfield as narrator.
Jim O'Connor, the gentleman caller, bears the same name as the young man who called on Rose Williams, before her descent into insanity. The action takes place in a small apartment in a poor district of the city, crowded outside and in, surrounded by many dark alleys and fire escapes.
ical machinations of the other characters indeed make the drama a “menagerie” of cruelty and dysfunction, Laura displays an almost unreal, pure compassion towards the other characters. It is a testament to Williams’s skill as a playwright that she does not appear
What Tom does when he cannot take the criticism anymore is classical escape (Williams, 1944). He leaves to smoke instead. This is designed to help Tom escape from outside phenomena that are irritating him.
Tom makes up the play’s narrator and protagonist. Willams’s play was setup in the backdrop of the great depression and shows how the Wingfield family grapples with its present, past, and future. The family appears
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