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The Glass Menagerie PDF, ePub eBook One of Tennessee Williams' most popular plays in a special annotated edition for school and college students. The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams' first great popular success and an autobiographical play about his mother and sister, launched the brilliant and controversial career of this ground-breaking American playwright. Set in St Louis during the depression era of t One of Tennessee Williams' most popular plays in a special annotated edition for school and college students. The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams' first great popular success and an autobiographical play about his mother and sister, launched the brilliant and controversial career of this ground-breaking American playwright. Set in St Louis during the depression era of the 1930s, it is the poignant drama of a family's gradual disintegration, under pressure both from outside and within. A frustrated mother persuades her rebellious son to provide a 'gentleman caller' for her shy, crippled daughter, but her romantic dreams are shattered by the intervention of harsh reality. This edition provides the author's preferred text, available for the first time in the United Kingdom, and includes Williams' essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, 'The Catastrophe of Success', as well as a short section of Williams' own production notes.

30 review for The Glass Menagerie

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    Over the course of the last month I have read the classic plays of Tennessee Williams. Williams' first successful play, The Glass Menagerie initially opened in Chicago in the spring of 1944 and then moved to New York three months later. What he dubs a memory play, The Glass Menagerie focuses on a family much like Williams' own family, and hones in on the human emotions that allow a family to function. Containing seven scenes all in one location and four characters, The Glass Menagerie is powerfu Over the course of the last month I have read the classic plays of Tennessee Williams. Williams' first successful play, The Glass Menagerie initially opened in Chicago in the spring of 1944 and then moved to New York three months later. What he dubs a memory play, The Glass Menagerie focuses on a family much like Williams' own family, and hones in on the human emotions that allow a family to function. Containing seven scenes all in one location and four characters, The Glass Menagerie is powerful piece that is still widely read and studied today. It is St Louis in between the two world wars. Amanda Wingfield has been unable to cope with her husband's disappearance of the last sixteen years and has raised her two grown children Tom and Laura essentially on her own. The husband's portrait graces the mantel and despite his abandoning of the family he is held in high regard. All three Wingfields come with baggage stemming from the father's flight, and an outsider would view the family as dysfunctional. Williams presents the family in this light, even noting in the introduction that Laura resembles his sister Rose and Tom could possibly be himself. I believe this is what made the play as effective as it was because Williams wrote what he knew and was able to create deep characters. Amanda in her own way attempts to do what she thinks is best for Tom and Laura, but as they are now grown, she has little authority over them. Tom from a young age took over the role of man of the house and turns over all of his earnings to Amanda. Meanwhile, Amanda desired for Laura to learn to be a typist and for Tom to go into business, but neither lasted long at night school. She thinks highly of both of them while glossing over their faults, leading Tom to want to follow in his father's footsteps while Laura lives in her own world of glass figurines. Because this play takes place in one location and does not contain much action, it was easy to be read and create images of the characters in my mind. I enjoyed the imagery of Amanda as a middle aged southern woman who was once a belle as well as Tom who desired to see the world. Williams talks of the world at large by mentioning the Century of Progress in Chicago as well as the Guernica in Spain. A great world is taking place outside of the apartment and Tom wants to be a part of it in spite of his mother's intentions. Had the play contained more characters, interactions, and locations, it would not have lended itself to be read rather than viewed. It is in this regard that Williams timeless works remain accessible. I have enjoyed my close study of Tennessee Williams plays. I visited with the Kowalskis of New Orleans, the Moffits of Memphis, and now the Wingfields of St Louis. I have found it refreshing to read plays because one gets to know characters in a manner much more intimately than over the course of a long book full of action. Williams' plays run the gamut of human emotions and often contain both exhilaration and despondency from the same characters in the same play. Reading these short yet powerful plays, it is easy to root personae on as their emotions run the entire spectrum. After reading these three plays in close proximity of each other, I see how Williams' characters have remained timeless even fifty years later. I encourage others to pick a playwright and read many of their works to see how emotions and themes repeat themselves across time and place. For this memory play, I rate The Glass Menagerie 4.5 bright stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie is a memory play by Tennessee Williams that premiered in 1944 and catapulted Williams from obscurity to fame. The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on its author, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Laura. In writing the play, Williams drew on an earlier short story, as well as a screenplay he had written under the title of The Gentleman Caller. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 2000 می The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie is a memory play by Tennessee Williams that premiered in 1944 and catapulted Williams from obscurity to fame. The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on its author, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Laura. In writing the play, Williams drew on an earlier short story, as well as a screenplay he had written under the title of The Gentleman Caller. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 2000 میلادی عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: حمید سمندریان؛ تهران، امیرخانی، 1378؛ در 145 ص؛ شابک: ایکس - 964921397؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نردبام، 1383؛ شابک: ایکس - 964960023؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای (نمایشنامه در هفت پرده): نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: مرجان بهت مینو؛ کرج، مینو، 1381؛ در 112 ص؛ شابک: 9647487010؛ چاپ دوم 1382؛ چاپ سوم 1383؛ پنجم 1387؛ ششم 1392؛ عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: خاکسار هرسینی؛ تهران، افراز، 1386؛ در 160 ص؛ شابک: 9647640307؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛ شابک: 9789647640305؛ چاپ چهارم 1390؛ چاپ هشتم 1395؛ در 158 ص؛ عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: مهدی فروغ؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1395؛ در یازده و 96 ص؛ شابک: 9786004360425؛ تنسی ویلیامز، در تحلیل شخصیت آماندا، میگویند: دوزخ در واقع خودِ آدمی‌ست، و تنها راه رهایی از آن از خود گذشتگی و مراقبت از دیگران است. و مورد تام: زمانی هست که آدم باید برود، حتی اگر مقصدش نامعلوم باشد. و در مورد لورا: شخصیت‌های ‌شکننده و منزوی که از زندگی هراس دارند، در باطن قوی‌ترین آدم‌ها ‌هستند. پایان نقل. در باغ‌ وحش شیشه‌ ای هیچ‌ کس نمی‌بیند. همه گویی در رویا گام برمی‌‌دارند، و تماس خود را با واقعیت تلخ پیرامون از دست داده اند… حتی «جیم» هم در توهم زندگی می‌‌کند. جایی در داستان، جیم می‌‌گوید: «تک‌شاخ‌ها ‌خیلی وقت است که منقرض شده‌ اند» و این است حقیقت خانواده‌ ی «وینگفیلد»، حقیقت «تام»، «آماندا» و «لورا»… آنان منقرض شده‌ اند، در انزوای خود به اغما رفته‌ اند ‌و در خواب قدم برمی‌‌دارند… یکی از سمبل‌های ‌مهم نمایش نامه، «پلکان اضطراری» خانه است، که در دنیای واقعی برای خروج اضطراری از آن استفاده می‌‌شود. اما در دنیای شخصیت‌های ‌باغ وحش شیشه ای، این پلکان غالباً به عنوان راه ورودی، مورد استفاده قرار می‌‌گیرد! ورود اضطراری! پناه بردن به فضای بیمارگونه‌ ی حاکم بر خانواده، با دل‌خوشی‌های ‌کاذب و حتی مهیب…؛ گریز از هجوم رویاشکن واقعیت، و پناه بردن به دنیای خیال است. ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    *Reread for class 2017 Still a great play. I originally read this 5 or 6 years ago for my high school English class and it is so interesting now getting a new perspective in a university class.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eric Jay Sonnenschein

    The Glass Menagerie is a great domestic tragedy with three very distinctive characters--the strong, proud Amanda, the weak and innocent Laura, and the realistic dreamer, Tom. One finds in this play an elegiac portrait of misery, rather than a scalding enactment of taboo. There is no one tragic event here, but a general condition of pathos. Instead of a classic conflict, The Glass Managerie depicts a lack of cooperation. We find in the Wingfield home no crime, but a chronic, aching social and eco The Glass Menagerie is a great domestic tragedy with three very distinctive characters--the strong, proud Amanda, the weak and innocent Laura, and the realistic dreamer, Tom. One finds in this play an elegiac portrait of misery, rather than a scalding enactment of taboo. There is no one tragic event here, but a general condition of pathos. Instead of a classic conflict, The Glass Managerie depicts a lack of cooperation. We find in the Wingfield home no crime, but a chronic, aching social and economic woe. This archetypal modern family, the single-parent, broken home, implodes under its own grief and slow-moving, yet inexorable catastrophe. The reader/audience has an impending sense that the situation can never improve nor the relationships grow. There is no break in the clouds, no sun on the horizon. These characters are locked into their fates. Any recognition, peripatea, must inevitably lead not to hope and acceptance, but abandonment and dissolution. If tragedy always documents a change, the only changes that can occur in The Glass Menagerie are hard-wired and inevitable: the escape of the son (imitating the absent father), the insitutionalization of the mentally ill sister, and the death of the aging and increasingly delusional mother. This pervading and gnawing sense of the Wingfields' doom counters Mother Amanda's brave and delusional hopes and optimism. Perhaps this collision of Amanda's futile optimism and displaced gentility with the family's sordid present constitutes the primary conflict in the play. I always admired The Glass Menagerie because it reinvented the tragic form for the modern condition and sensibility. This is the no-fault tragedy for a random, no-fault universe. There is no nemesis here and no unadulterated protagonist, unless Amanda, the matriarch, qualifies as one. Amanda is the one character who, like her or not, propels the family forward toward its reckoning. When she schemes to snare a beau for her disabled daughter, Amanda can seem desperate and disingenous to the point of being annoying. But as she makes her unsolicited telephone solicitations, using her southern belle gift for conversation, one aches for her and recognizes how courageous and determined she truly is. The final message of the memory play, although never stated, is that there is a price for Amanda's brand of optimism. Living in one's dreams can be dangerous. Like all perishable things, optimism can rot. Hope degrades to delusion and bitterness. Denial of reality ultimately is a death factor like denial of air. Glass Menagerie reads very well. It also can play well. I have seen it with different actors, including Jessica Lange, who seemed a bit too young and sexual to play Amanda. It is a difficult play to stage, demanding great concentration and energy. Ultimately it demands from actors and director a fidelity to the spirit of the play: it cannot withstand gimmickry. In fact, a beautiful set and great production values defeat this play.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 of 5 stars to The Glass Menagerie, written in 1945 by Tennessee Williams. The play is told from the perspective of Tom, the son of Amanda and brother of Laura, three members of the Wingfield family living in Missouri in the 1930s. Amanda's husband, the and kids father, left years ago and has not been heard from. Both Laura and Tom are in their early twenties. Amanda wants to marry off her daughter, convincing Tom to bring home a friend from work to create a set-up. It fails, as Book Review 4 of 5 stars to The Glass Menagerie, written in 1945 by Tennessee Williams. The play is told from the perspective of Tom, the son of Amanda and brother of Laura, three members of the Wingfield family living in Missouri in the 1930s. Amanda's husband, the and kids father, left years ago and has not been heard from. Both Laura and Tom are in their early twenties. Amanda wants to marry off her daughter, convincing Tom to bring home a friend from work to create a set-up. It fails, as he's already involved with another girl, and the story ends basically where it begins. It's a powerful tale about the relationships between parents and children and siblings. It's about women's rights and their place in a 1930s world. It's about fighting versus talking. It's about dating versus falling in love. It's about poverty and money. The story has a lot of mini-arcs, all about the different parts of their lives... who did what, where, when, how and why. It's a good read, especially as a play and has been produced in probably every high school across the country. What I liked about it was the harsh and raw reality of life for some people, especially young girls who needed to be married off... it's a "classic" and should be read by all... especially if you know a little bit about Tennessee Williams - and his own thoughts and actions in the world! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. [polldaddy poll=9729544]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christian Doig

    Perhaps this talks to me more about my life than other Williams masterpieces do. I don't know, but reading through the whole "gentleman caller" preparations made my very soul shiver. The author has split his personality, and you have Amanda, Laura, Tom and Jim somehow unifying to reflect themselves both the unit and the broken pieces, the ashes of glass that are the reader --at least in my case. A thing of beauty in Williams' hands will always bleed straight from the heart. His symbols, states of Perhaps this talks to me more about my life than other Williams masterpieces do. I don't know, but reading through the whole "gentleman caller" preparations made my very soul shiver. The author has split his personality, and you have Amanda, Laura, Tom and Jim somehow unifying to reflect themselves both the unit and the broken pieces, the ashes of glass that are the reader --at least in my case. A thing of beauty in Williams' hands will always bleed straight from the heart. His symbols, states of mind, moods, the delicate tragedy which he makes out of the world's cruelest instances, even the failure that lies behind a successful tale of survival connotations, all hit too close to home. I don't think Williams is for everyone, and yet, apart from The Glass Menagerie's most singular traits of storytelling, here is an artist altogether aware of his tools to the point of elaborating a rather brilliant self-commentary on the way fiction works --including how it can turn to be a revenge of sorts against suffering. I absolutely love, adore, the climaxing scene where Laura's dream suddenly begins to be fulfilled only to end up crashing in a nightmare of depressive realisation. Miraculous just about describes the God-given insight that allowed Williams to get to know the precise events and feelings and reactions, and consequences, which drove my life to deadly stillness before a heavenly awakening that prevented me from falling into everlasting oblivion. Amanda is the promising past --not unlike Blanche would soon be--, and Tom is the delusive present; however, Laura rests on that sofa or sits on this floor, holding her pet glass unicorn, in a place out of any chronological consideration --a real-life reject left behind in her own niche to shine, a prematurely withered moth, because the light was out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan Budd

    Oh Laura. Poor damaged Laura. If there has ever been a more sensitive and poignant portrayal of mental illness than Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, I have yet to come across it. Laura breaks my heart. It is impossible not to love her and want to shelter her from the world. She is a unicorn among horses. A blue rose among the weeds. A shattered rainbow. Twice in the text Williams refers to her “fragile, unearthly prettiness” (51, 67). The stage light that shines upon her has “a peculiar pri Oh Laura. Poor damaged Laura. If there has ever been a more sensitive and poignant portrayal of mental illness than Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, I have yet to come across it. Laura breaks my heart. It is impossible not to love her and want to shelter her from the world. She is a unicorn among horses. A blue rose among the weeds. A shattered rainbow. Twice in the text Williams refers to her “fragile, unearthly prettiness” (51, 67). The stage light that shines upon her has “a peculiar pristine clarity such as light used in early religious portraits of female saints or madonnas” (xxi-xxii). Laura was not made for this world. When her mother takes her to the Young People’s League at church, she speaks to no one and no one speaks to her. When her mother enrolls her in business college, she becomes so nervous that she throws up on the floor. When the gentleman caller visits, she nearly faints from fright. Amanda worries that Laura “just drifts along doing nothing” (34). Tom observes that “she’s terribly shy and lives in a world of her own” (47-48). And they are right. Laura lives in a world of Victrola music and glass animals. She seems to have no awareness of the peril of her situation. It has been six years since high school. When Jim asks her what she has been doing since then, she tells him that her glass collection takes up a lot of time. When her mother finds out she hasn’t been going to business college, she explains that she has been walking in the park and visiting the penguins in the zoo. Laura is based on Williams’ sister Rose. The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, and as Tom says in the opening monologue, “I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion” (4) Poor Rose was subjected to a prefrontal lobotomy as a so-called treatment for her schizophrenia. Williams never forgot her. He visited her in the institution and provided for her care for the rest of her life. Our society no longer commits this barbaric violence against the mentally ill, but mental illness is still misunderstood and the mentally ill are still stigmatized. When Amanda becomes exasperated, she says to Laura: “I’m sick, too—of your nonsense! Why can’t you and your brother be normal people? Fantastic whims and behavior (57)! Amanda loves her daughter, but she doesn’t understand her. Tom has a better understanding of his sister because he is not quite “normal” either. He can function in the outside world, but his dreams of adventure, his literary aspirations, his poetic soul, set him apart from the other men at the warehouse. If not for his acquaintance with Jim from high school, he would still be an outsider there, someone viewed with “suspicious hostility” (50). Instead, thanks to Jim’s good-natured friendliness, he is accepted as one accepts “an oddly fashioned dog” (51). An improvement—but only barely. Unlike his sister, however, Tom is well enough to escape. And he does. He escapes from the coffin, but not without removing a nail. Does he feel like Malvolio the Magician? Does Williams? Tom is not malevolent. He is just trapped. And for the sake of his own mental health, he must escape. Mental illness takes its toll on the family too. In the end, what will become of poor Laura? Abandoned by her father. Abandoned by her gentleman caller. And now abandoned by her brother. Her little world is as fragile as her glass menagerie. One act of clumsiness ~ a swing of a coat, a misstep in a dance, an impulsive kiss ~ is enough to shatter it to bits. What will become of her in a world that was not made for people like her? Tom may not know. But Williams does. The world is not kind to people like her. And in its clumsiness, it destroys them. Blue roses are beautiful, but they are not of this world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion”—Tom Winfield, The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is the play that made its playwright Tennessee Williams famous, his first big hit in a career of wonderful accomplishments, probably one of his two or three best plays. I taught it a few times, saw it a few times, saw both film ad “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion”—Tom Winfield, The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is the play that made its playwright Tennessee Williams famous, his first big hit in a career of wonderful accomplishments, probably one of his two or three best plays. I taught it a few times, saw it a few times, saw both film adaptations (and preferred the Paul Newman directed one with John Malkovich as Tom), and just while driving listened to one godawful audiotaped rendition of the play by a guy named Tom Kent. Mr. Kent is a northerner who attempts a screeching, Moms Mabley (yes, ALL the characters sound like Moms Mabley, and I know that 90% of you probably don’t know who that it is, sorry) travesty of an interpretation of the play complete with cringing mispronunciations throughout. I could have turned it off, but didn’t, because, well, you still have Williams’ words, his language, his heart. “The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart” --Williams Menagerie is what Williams calls a “memory” play that takes place “in the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy” Tom). It is his most autobiographical play, creating characters much like his family: His father was, like Tom’s father, a telephone salesman who “fell in love with long distance” (i.e., he ditched the family); like Tom’s mother Williams’ mother was left to worry (pre-social network) just how the family might survive; Laura—"I'm just bewildered-- by life”--collects glass figurines—her glass “menagerie” and is, like Williams’ sister, a unicorn, an oddly special, fragile girl, physically disabled, mentally unstable, for whom Amanda wants a husband. “When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.” Williams, who took on the name Tennessee, was born Thomas, and like Tom in the play, felt the burden of taking care of his family as he longed to see the world and write about it. Tom is the narrator of the play, moving in and out of scene, working in a warehouse, going to movies to escape, until he could enact his plan to—like his father—hit the road (or in Tom and Tennessee’s case, join the armed forces He is sick of living at home: Tom: “I go to the movies because--I like adventure. Adventure is something I don’t have much of at work, so I go to the movies.” Amanda on Tom: “You live in a dream, you manufacture illusions!” The play involves a series of sad, desperate failures in Amanda’s attempt to secure a future for her daughter. She finds that Laura has not been going to typing classes they have paid dearly for her to take. Instead, she spends that time walking the street, daydreaming. The central event of the play is Tom’s agreeing to invite a “gentleman caller” for dinner to meet Laura. The Wingfield family is moored very much in the south of the past, like Blanche in Streetcar, facing a future Tom would seem to embody, the future of television, electronics, public speaking, financial success. Things look promising when Tom arrives, and he is nice to Laura, just bursting with American plucky idealism and correspondence school self-help: “People are not so dreadful when you know them. That's what you have to remember! And everybody has problems, not just you, but practically everybody has got some problems. You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.” “Why, you’re not crippled, you just have a little defect — hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it — develop charm — and vivacity — and — charm!” but you don’t have to work too hard to imagine how things work out. As when we see Streetcar’s Blanche, in Menagerie we view a family in financial peril, with a woman particularly in peril because she is a woman. Fragile, close to shattering like glass, Laura cannot support herself and maybe never will be able to. Precarity is the name of the day, washed in lovely, melancholy colors bathed in wonderful poetic language. The play, because it features two teenagers, is read usually in high school, but it is lovely for anyone, really.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian Yahn

    I am completely blown away. The Glass Menagerie is a perfect mirror of the dysfunctional American family: An overbearing, yet well-intentioned mother abandoned by her lover; A son filled with Hollywood-style dreams of adventure but living a life of monotonous toil; A defective daughter who has little interest in anything, besides the glass animals she collects--week and frail as herself. The way Tennessee Williams pits all of these characters against each other, and how all of their desires come I am completely blown away. The Glass Menagerie is a perfect mirror of the dysfunctional American family: An overbearing, yet well-intentioned mother abandoned by her lover; A son filled with Hollywood-style dreams of adventure but living a life of monotonous toil; A defective daughter who has little interest in anything, besides the glass animals she collects--week and frail as herself. The way Tennessee Williams pits all of these characters against each other, and how all of their desires come together and blow up in flames is simply perfect. It starts slow, but for a play so short, it doesn't even matter. Once it gets going, holy cow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mariel

    The Glass Menagerie is a weird one for me. There's a better word for it than weird. I'm a crap writer though. I'll leave it at that. There's no thesaurus/mindreader thing for what I'm feeling. There are stories that we know every word of before we've ever read, seen or heard them. The Glass Menagerie is one of those for me. We'd act out scenes and make references like we actually knew what we were talking about. (My mom especially loved the "rise and shine" routine.) Remember that scene in Joe Ve The Glass Menagerie is a weird one for me. There's a better word for it than weird. I'm a crap writer though. I'll leave it at that. There's no thesaurus/mindreader thing for what I'm feeling. There are stories that we know every word of before we've ever read, seen or heard them. The Glass Menagerie is one of those for me. We'd act out scenes and make references like we actually knew what we were talking about. (My mom especially loved the "rise and shine" routine.) Remember that scene in Joe Versus the Volanoe when Tom Hanks didn't know it but he knew it that he couldn't possibly have a "brain cloud"? (He runs his hands back and forth over his head to gesticulate that he KNEW it.) [Once upon a time Tom Hanks was really cool. This was before anyone ever told him that he resembled Jimmy Stewart in bad lighting.] My mom bought us freaking glass figurines to encourage it. It was all part of her sick thing to encourage my social anxiety like how some moms encourage obesity by overfeeding and then afterwards picking on their fat kids. (The Brando Street Car was a frequent run in our house too. My brother was given ciggies and wife beater shirts. No lie!) The times when I'd beg not to go to school 'cause I was being bullied during volleyball practice? A reference to Laura's embarrassment to arrive to school late and limp in front of everyone. I could go on and on. (My mom's sympathies were with the mom, Amanda.) I felt like I already knew Laura's displacement. If my twin were here right now I'd ask her if the Paul Newman directed version was one of those filmed from the stage John Malkovich movies like True West and The Death of a Salesman (both are superb if you've never seen 'em). I'm thinking it was filmed for tv. I'm probably wrong and Lauren will later tell me that I am soooo wrong. Anyway, I love this version. Anyway, it was Tom who killed me when I watched the Newman version over and over again. It was his escape that I felt was being shown back to me. More than Laura's painstaking care of her self-built world I loved the one that Tom reached out to in outside sources like films. I love Killer Wingfield. Let's go to the movies, Shakespeare. The weird thing is that I'm having difficulty coming up with a whole for this. I know how I feel about their day to day. How the hell did it end? I'm coming up with nothing. Should it feel like that? I KNEW it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    “The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.” I really enjoyed this play, a lot more than I thought I would. It's a very short play but it managed to elicit all sorts of feelings from me,especially pity, mainly because the characters all carried some sort of burden or regret. There's the pushy, aba “The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.” I really enjoyed this play, a lot more than I thought I would. It's a very short play but it managed to elicit all sorts of feelings from me,especially pity, mainly because the characters all carried some sort of burden or regret. There's the pushy, abandoned-by-husband single mother who has extremely high demands on her children, the crippled daughter who has extremely low self-esteem, and is still (shock, horror) single at age 24, and the son who is stuck in a job he despises and desires to be a poet. I liked the ending because, although we're not explicitly told what fate brings the main characters, there is a feeling of hope left lingering in the air. I think the ending is very realistic.

  12. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Early this month, my 15-y/o daughter, Jillian. who is studying in an all-girls school, asked me to write a monologue for the 7-y/o Noli Me Tangere character, Crispin. Each of them in the class was given a character in the novel with the objective of introducing all the characters to the class. I used to write drama scripts in high school (Alamat ni Mariang Makiling) and college (The Silent Mourner) but those were a 2-3 decades ago. So, to help out, I read that chapter in Noli and wrote one. Jill Early this month, my 15-y/o daughter, Jillian. who is studying in an all-girls school, asked me to write a monologue for the 7-y/o Noli Me Tangere character, Crispin. Each of them in the class was given a character in the novel with the objective of introducing all the characters to the class. I used to write drama scripts in high school (Alamat ni Mariang Makiling) and college (The Silent Mourner) but those were a 2-3 decades ago. So, to help out, I read that chapter in Noli and wrote one. Jillian delivered it and got perfect score. She even had a small certificate signed by her teacher. Here is her picture delivering that dramatic moment in my monologue: [image error] So far, this picture got 90 likes in her Facebook account! The scene above is when Crispin, hungy, worried that her mother would believe that he is a thief, is about to be dragged by the sacristan to be killed. Yesterday, I saw this thin Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie book being sold at P40 (less than US$1). I heard about Tennessee Williams because I saw and like the film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. But I did not have any idea about The Glass Menagerie. So, since Jillian will have El Filibusterismo next year and she is becoming popular in school because of her monologue, I might as well brush up with my scriptwriting skills ha-ha! I liked The Glass Menagerie so much that I could picture myself sitting in the theatre and watching the play. I am not a theatre person. All my life, I only saw Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Miss Saigon during its Hong Kong leg and Mel Brook's The Producers during my first visit in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. Other that these, I find watching plays expensive and too classy for my simple taste. The story is about 4 characters: Amanda (the mother), Laura (the crippled daughter who is too shy to attract suitors), Tom (the son working in a warehouse but dreaming to join the navy) and Jim (Tom's bestfriend who Amanda and Tom thought could be Laura's husband). Amanda's husband, the father of Laura and Tom, abandoned them when the two were still young. Tom is the only one working so he has to support the 3 of them. Laura left her typewriting class because she is bothered by her deformity (one of her legs is shorter than the other) so she wears a brace and it creates click-clang sound when she walks. Amanda wishes to find a husband for Laura because both ladies know that Tom is unhappy with his job and will leave them soon. Just like Amanda's husband who left them several years ago. Oh, how cool I thought it would be if I could see how the script is actually executed especially the "screen images" and "screen legends". The dialogues are also crisp and witty. One that I could relate and put a smile on my face while reading this morning is the part below when Amanda is interrogating Tom about his frequent movie-watching. Remember that Tom is bored with his work in the warehouse and wants to join the navy: AMANDA: but, why-why, Tom - are you always so restless? Where do you go to, nights? TOM: I - go to the movies. AMANDA: Why do you go to the movies so much, Tom? TOM: I go to the movies because - I like adventure. Adventure is something I don't have much of at work, so I go to the movies. AMANDA: But, Tom, you go to the movies entirely too much! TOM: I like a lot of adventure. Reason why I smiled while reading the above? Just replace "go to the movies" with "read a book" and that's me, the bookworm, instead of Tom. And my wife becomes Amanda! Readers use an awful lot of imagination when they read novels as well as drama scripts, don't they?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A modern play, to me, about disillusionment. Main characters include Amanda (delusional, childish, dependent, desparate mother), Laura (inhibited, painfully shy daughter), Tom (restless, dreamer, poet, narrator/son), Jim (optimistic, hopeful, gentleman caller). A play about misdirected dreams and ambitions. Amanda places her dreams in her children. Tom places his dreams in adventure and traveling the world like his absentee father. Laura places her dreams of happiness in her glass menagerie coll A modern play, to me, about disillusionment. Main characters include Amanda (delusional, childish, dependent, desparate mother), Laura (inhibited, painfully shy daughter), Tom (restless, dreamer, poet, narrator/son), Jim (optimistic, hopeful, gentleman caller). A play about misdirected dreams and ambitions. Amanda places her dreams in her children. Tom places his dreams in adventure and traveling the world like his absentee father. Laura places her dreams of happiness in her glass menagerie collection. But these dreams are misplaced, and instead only become desparate attempts to escape from realities. These people try their hardest to maintain their sense of happiness by losing themselves in their fantasies, but the peace of mind that comes from their escapism is fragile and fleeting. Disillusionment adds a heavy burden to their very ordinary existences, and only drives them to further retreat in their dreams of better, more fulfilling lives.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    A lot of the literature I've read for school this year has disappointed me. It's great that we got to read and watch The Glass Menagerie as part of my AP Lit class, because I reclaimed my title as extremely obsessive fanboy extraordinaire. There's just so much to love in this play. Williams' writing is exquisite and his utilization of symbols leaves myriad room for analysis. His deep and damaged characters call for discussion: Amanda Wingfield, the ambitious and heady mother of Laura and Tom, Lau A lot of the literature I've read for school this year has disappointed me. It's great that we got to read and watch The Glass Menagerie as part of my AP Lit class, because I reclaimed my title as extremely obsessive fanboy extraordinaire. There's just so much to love in this play. Williams' writing is exquisite and his utilization of symbols leaves myriad room for analysis. His deep and damaged characters call for discussion: Amanda Wingfield, the ambitious and heady mother of Laura and Tom, Laura, the painfully shy girl with a penchant for glass, Tom, the trapped adventurer who yearns for excitement, and Jim, the gentleman caller who represents optimism and progress in society. The themes of disillusionment, quiet disaster, and the death of the American dream intertwine with the fragmented family and lead to a tragedy of epic proportions. But I must admit my bias regarding the The Glass Menagerie - 1) I love the word "menagerie" and 2) I've experienced family issues like the ones portrayed in this play. However, not all stories that strike home succeed; this one hit the mark in its bittersweet portrayal of a mother who pushes her children in the wrong direction and a son and a daughter who fight back. Highly recommended, especially for those who can watch the film version directed by Paul Newman. *review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    What is it with the Scottish school syllabus, that it's so obsessed with early twentieth century American playwrights? This is the second Tennessee Williams I've had to teach this year - and not so much as a Shakespeare to be seen. The Scots playwrights don't fare any better - there's a ton of Scottish poetry on the syllabus, but even for Liz Lochhead the poetry's all we get. Anyway, my copy of The Glass Menagerie has a favourable quote from Arthur Miller on the back, which I think falls under th What is it with the Scottish school syllabus, that it's so obsessed with early twentieth century American playwrights? This is the second Tennessee Williams I've had to teach this year - and not so much as a Shakespeare to be seen. The Scots playwrights don't fare any better - there's a ton of Scottish poetry on the syllabus, but even for Liz Lochhead the poetry's all we get. Anyway, my copy of The Glass Menagerie has a favourable quote from Arthur Miller on the back, which I think falls under the general heading of "circlejerk", and also means that I'm far too cynical to do this any justice. As usual with this flavour of theatre, it's all gone horribly wrong for everyone, there's no way out (view spoiler)[at least not that isn't going to haunt you forever - what does happen to Laura after her brother makes his escape, after all? (hide spoiler)] , and the devil's in the stage directions. If I get the chance to see this performed, I'm sure I'd jump at it; but if you give it to kids who don't think they like theatre anyway, it's not exactly the easiest to ignite the enthusiasm in them. At any rate, I have issues with it the same way I have issues with having to teach Steinbeck (why Of Mice and Men, constantly?! mutter mutter joy of reading mutter), and it's not something I'd pick up by myself out of choice. So there we go. What I will say, though, is that the edition I have is edited by Professor Stephen Bottoms, and his commentary is really great - accessible, interesting, and the sort of thing that I privately think of as a bit like a wine-tasting, which is to say that it points out what I ought to be noticing and taking as important. I'm glad I've read it; I appreciate the play much better for it. Maybe I'll come back later and give this a proper, vaguely charitable review. But I have to give a lesson on the themes in an hour and a half, and while there's plenty to talk about, charitable today I am not. Some people must adore this. I can only think my heart goes out to Tennessee Williams: anyone whose creative expression has to come out like this and Streetcar is a person who needs more support and backup than the poor sod apparently got.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sketchbook

    "Blow out your candles, Laura." An American theatre classic. Even on the printed page it's a killer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Read this for class and I really liked it! So much symbolism!

  18. 4 out of 5

    نیلوفر رحمانیان

    I really enjoyed reading this one. Im a fan of details and this one had a ton of them, it mentioned the american hostorical background without really mentioning it. But one could see how it is years after civil war and southerns have lost their slaved and their aristocracy. Society is getting industrialized , the way of life has been changed and the binary btw city/urban life is shown by the Toms wish to become a sailor. Everyone should become something, do sth, leisure is no more praised, art i I really enjoyed reading this one. Im a fan of details and this one had a ton of them, it mentioned the american hostorical background without really mentioning it. But one could see how it is years after civil war and southerns have lost their slaved and their aristocracy. Society is getting industrialized , the way of life has been changed and the binary btw city/urban life is shown by the Toms wish to become a sailor. Everyone should become something, do sth, leisure is no more praised, art is no longer praised and happiness and relief is as fradgile and as unreal as the glass unicorn Laura praises which looses its horn and is given away finally. The magical cinema is here, it fills the escape literatures place as the books werent praised in the house. And how the dream is shattered, how the american dream is shattered for almost all of them, leaving them to live in the nostalgia of good old days. Yet the only one who seems to be living in the present is blamed and cant walk. How sacrifice has become a virtue in order to control the crowds of workers wasting their life in dark places. Tom was fired because he wrote a poem on a shoe box, yeah what a play.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    4 stars - but somethings are unrateable. Tennessee Williams to me is special. I find his work deeply moving. And while reading a play is moving, seeing it is an entirely different experience. I remember seeing both this play and the movie, and it is unforgettable. I also have the experience, after taking a Tennessee Williams class in college, or maybe it wasn't a class, maybe just somehow it was incorporated in American Dramatic Theater - I remember feeling the compelling need to read or see eve 4 stars - but somethings are unrateable. Tennessee Williams to me is special. I find his work deeply moving. And while reading a play is moving, seeing it is an entirely different experience. I remember seeing both this play and the movie, and it is unforgettable. I also have the experience, after taking a Tennessee Williams class in college, or maybe it wasn't a class, maybe just somehow it was incorporated in American Dramatic Theater - I remember feeling the compelling need to read or see every single one of his plays. I got a book that was a compilation. And the very last one, the name I cannot even recall, that one I thought to not read, to savor, so I would always have one left. I remember that thinking process so distinctly. But also thinking - if you don't read this now, are you ever truly going to? You might never. What I cannot remember, is the decision I made. If I ever did read it. Or which play it was if I did, or didn't. Funny the things that stick. But - the Glass Menagerie. There's something about it that's so painfully sad and unforgettable. I think it has something to do with how vibrant the characters are, even Laura, in the face of of her delicacy - shines when she interacts with her glass collection, and when faced with her old crush. I truly think Amanda, Tom, and Laura, somehow live with us for an extremely long time. So thankful that I get to revisit these three works of his. Quietly praying there are CEU's involved, although I might not have signed up, and I'm glad that I'm taking the class anyway, it was a sort of impetus and important thing to take care of. I think I'm afraid to truly seek out the answer. But here I am in the month of November, spending some of it with Tennessee.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    One of my favorite plays. I remember talking about it with a friend in high school, where we realized that from his perspective the play was about Tom, and from my perspective the play was about Laura. I guess it just depends who you are and where you are at in life. (I'm surprised I've never marked this as read before, and now I'll go off on a play spree.) "Being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They're one hundred times one thousand. You' One of my favorite plays. I remember talking about it with a friend in high school, where we realized that from his perspective the play was about Tom, and from my perspective the play was about Laura. I guess it just depends who you are and where you are at in life. (I'm surprised I've never marked this as read before, and now I'll go off on a play spree.) "Being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They're one hundred times one thousand. You're one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here. They're common as — weeds, but — you — well, you're — Blue Roses!"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Tennessee Williams proclaims THE GLASS MENAGERIE "the saddest play I have ever written. It is full of pain. It's painful for me to see it."The dysfunctional family portrayed in this drama brought back memories of Williams' own unhappy life while living in St. Louis. It is a story about a mother deserted by her husband long ago, still living in the youth of her past, who is constantly worried about her grown son's nightlife and job stability as well as her terribly shy and slightly "crippled" dau Tennessee Williams proclaims THE GLASS MENAGERIE "the saddest play I have ever written. It is full of pain. It's painful for me to see it."The dysfunctional family portrayed in this drama brought back memories of Williams' own unhappy life while living in St. Louis. It is a story about a mother deserted by her husband long ago, still living in the youth of her past, who is constantly worried about her grown son's nightlife and job stability as well as her terribly shy and slightly "crippled" daughter's marital prospects as she retreats into a world of her own with fragile glass figurines.When a kind and outgoing gentleman comes to dinner, daughter Laura does surprisingly open up to him, even dances, but disappointment soon takes hold with a pronouncement that brings the sky falling down.While sorrowful and filled with an air of despair, the scene with the "gay deceivers" did bring a smile to my face.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Thoughtful, entrancing, achingly sad. Worth reading the script even if you’ve already seen the play live (I have not) because the detail in Williams’ stage directions is so vivid.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    5 Stars!!! I forgot just how great this short classic was!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leonard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A domineering mother directs the destinies of the son and daughter, thereby stifling their individualities and aspirations. The theme isn’t fresh but Tennessee Williams, with masterful strokes of his pen, draws forth the drama that tucks the hearts of audience. We feel the tension, the frustration, the struggle, and ultimately the resignation. We sympathize with the children for having to sacrifice their dreams but we also pity the mother for trying to fill the role of the father and to revive a A domineering mother directs the destinies of the son and daughter, thereby stifling their individualities and aspirations. The theme isn’t fresh but Tennessee Williams, with masterful strokes of his pen, draws forth the drama that tucks the hearts of audience. We feel the tension, the frustration, the struggle, and ultimately the resignation. We sympathize with the children for having to sacrifice their dreams but we also pity the mother for trying to fill the role of the father and to revive a past that no longer exists. The play is humorous, satirical, and ultimately sad.

  25. 5 out of 5

    akiko

    3.5 Blue Roses Stars This entire play is based on Tom's memories from the past, and concludes with his final thoughts before moving on from the past. Amanda Wingfield grew up with many gentleman callers in her younger years, but now that she is older, she constantly reminds her two children of what it was like for her in her youth. She also loves her children dearly, but has strong opinions of what they should be doing in life. She doesn't want her son, Tom wasting time on writing poetry and readi 3.5 Blue Roses Stars This entire play is based on Tom's memories from the past, and concludes with his final thoughts before moving on from the past. Amanda Wingfield grew up with many gentleman callers in her younger years, but now that she is older, she constantly reminds her two children of what it was like for her in her youth. She also loves her children dearly, but has strong opinions of what they should be doing in life. She doesn't want her son, Tom wasting time on writing poetry and reading certain types of books that she feels are inappropriate to read, and she wants her daughter, Laura to be married to a nice young man (not like her husband that she regrets ever marrying, who was always away from his family and drunk (not even in families life when the story is being told) before Laura gets too old. Tom Wingfield (22 years old) wants a sense of adventure in his life, but working at the shoe warehouse certainly doesn't give him that. He loves his mother and sister, but he yearns for more from life. Laura Wingfield (24 years old) fancied a boy from her high school (James/Jim), the popular guy with a bright future ahead of him, but she hasn't seen him since she dropped out of school, because she was uncomfortable with the way pleurosis changed her, making her walk with a limp. She now is rather antisocial and spends most of her time with her glass figurines, and phonograph records. Jim (24 years old) enters the story and I was all for him, but then the thing happened, and, well... I thought he was sweet but... There is a certain tone to this entire play, like many plays around the 40s, but I always enjoy the sad-charm of them, in a strange sort of way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    In memory, everything seems to happen to music. I must have seen an adaptation of this, somewhere back behind the fog and pines of my past. There was a vague familiarity around this family, sufficiently lit--I gather--to perceive some similitude. It is the screen onstage which makes this work, which rescues another play about a fallen family. Flashing reminders of machination. This imposition is a weighty hand from God indicating the fork in the road. While I could certainly appreciate the plight In memory, everything seems to happen to music. I must have seen an adaptation of this, somewhere back behind the fog and pines of my past. There was a vague familiarity around this family, sufficiently lit--I gather--to perceive some similitude. It is the screen onstage which makes this work, which rescues another play about a fallen family. Flashing reminders of machination. This imposition is a weighty hand from God indicating the fork in the road. While I could certainly appreciate the plight of the mother and daughter, it was the haunting figure of Tom, lost in drink and celluloid, which stirred my interest. Crushed in his responsibility as breadwinner, this Shakespeare of the men's room, longs for escape. I did feel the impulses of the play were truncated, strangely edited so the daughter and Jim could cut to the quick in an almost rushed manner. The drama suffers from that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Dybdahl

    I liked the drama of this play, but I now I really want to see it performed since I didn't really get the full atmosphere from the text and I would like to see all the body language and facial expressions and tones of voice live.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zarsie

    reality the inescapable the ever-staring inevitable reality

  29. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    After being blown away by "A Streetcar Named Desire" I am glad that I stuck with finishing up this play though it no longer counts toward Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday Challenge for 2016. I really enjoyed this play looking at what is left of the Wingfield family (Amanda, Tom, and Laura). Amanda (the mother) reminds me a saner version of Blanche DuBois from "A Streetcar Named Desire". Amanda is caught up in her past of receiving gentleman callers prior to agreeing to marry Tom and Laura' After being blown away by "A Streetcar Named Desire" I am glad that I stuck with finishing up this play though it no longer counts toward Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday Challenge for 2016. I really enjoyed this play looking at what is left of the Wingfield family (Amanda, Tom, and Laura). Amanda (the mother) reminds me a saner version of Blanche DuBois from "A Streetcar Named Desire". Amanda is caught up in her past of receiving gentleman callers prior to agreeing to marry Tom and Laura's father. She's still bitter because the man she ultimately chose to marry ended up just becoming a telephone salesman and runs off 16 years prior to the beginning of the play. It was shocking to me to realize that the missing Mr. Wingfield had been gone for the majority of the Tom and Laura's lives, and Amanda was left to make do with what she could while trying to raise her children. Tom longs for the freedom to just write poetry and go on adventures. He feels trapped by his mother and sister and hates that he is expected to give up his life working in a warehouse to support them. Laura is scared and afraid that when most people see her, they see the deformity in her leg. Choosing to concentrate on cleaning her glass collection and playing records left by her father, she's focused on not trying to upset her mother and keep her brother calm though she knows he wants to leave them. Funnily enough the person I had the most sympathy for in this play was Amanda. At times I didn't like her character (when she told Laura that she would play a "Darkie" and serve and using the N word I was initially done with the character. However, reading further and seeing how she is doing everything possible to make sure that her children have a good life even if it means pushing them into things that they don't want was sad. Amanda being focused on gentleman callers and being upset that Laura is not attracting a man in order to support her at times seems so backwards. But in the time and place that the play takes place in what I guess to be the 1940s, there was not much that Laura could do since she had not done well in high school and dropped out of a secretarial course. We have another character introduced late to the play, Jim O'Conner, or the gentleman caller. He is another character whose life has not ended up the way that he thought it would. However, unlike Tom, Laura, and I would also say Amanda, he is trying to do better because he sees a different life for himself. Watching the way that Jim was with Amanda and Laura was eye opening. Though Tom is ashamed and at times angry at Amanda, Jim finds himself charmed by her. I loved the dialogue and stage directions in this play. The interactions between Amanda and Tom are always full of what the other person is not saying and even is saying at key moments. You get the full sense of Amanda's upset at what her life is now, prior to when she was besieged with gentlemen callers. Laura's dialogue until the end was very timid and afraid. When she finally does open up to Jim you can see what person she could have been if she wasn't so afraid of things all of the time. The entire play takes place in the Wingfield family's home and I loved Williams stage directions for the home prior to the gentleman caller and afterwards. The apartment feels down right claustrophobic at times since you are not really able to get away from each other based on the set-up of the apartment. The ending was bittersweet. Tom runs away to chase his adventures, but has seemed to realize that running away from home has only led him to be chased by the memory of his sister.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olga Godim

    On Sept 7, 2016 I went to see The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, produced by one of our local theater companies. It was one of the most powerful theatrical experience of the past few years. I have never seen this play before, nor the movie, but I understand why this simple four-actor play, premiered in 1944, catapulted the theretofore unknown playwright to sudden fame. Although the story Williams tells is very personal for him it is also universal. It’s set during the Depression Era in On Sept 7, 2016 I went to see The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, produced by one of our local theater companies. It was one of the most powerful theatrical experience of the past few years. I have never seen this play before, nor the movie, but I understand why this simple four-actor play, premiered in 1944, catapulted the theretofore unknown playwright to sudden fame. Although the story Williams tells is very personal for him it is also universal. It’s set during the Depression Era in St. Louis, but with little adjustments, it could’ve happened any time since, in any place in Europe or North America. The events mentioned are time sensitive, but the human interactions, their entire knot of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and general unhappiness have the ring of truth for any time period. There is an obnoxious older mother Amanda, who loves her grown-up children dearly but can’t stop nagging them. You’ve met the type: she always knows best. Her gnawing fear for her daughter’s and her own uncertain future makes her extremely disagreeable, querulous, even physically abusive, and the actress conveyed her character’s abominable clinginess with marvelous skills. There is a mentally fragile and physically crippled daughter Laura. Already in her twenties, Laura is unable to work or study, unable to form any social connections. Her only refuge is her collection of glass figurines, her glass menagerie. Only the little glass animals make her happy, and the director made this perfectly clear through the fantastic light display and the amazing acting of the actress playing Laura. Even though she is silent for most of the play, her face and body language speak volumes. The only bread-winner in the house is Laura’s brother Tom, who is fed up with his dysfunctional family, his poverty, and his dull life. He’s young and he yearns for adventures so much, he talks about the bombing of Guernica in Spain with longing. He wants to leave home, go somewhere, anywhere, even knowing that his family would be left destitute. He simply can’t care anymore. There is one more personage in the play, a gentleman guest Jim, but he only appears in the second act, and his function in the play is purely supportive: he allows others to shine. Despite the depressive, hopeless content, the play holds some humor as well. We all recognize ourselves or someone we loved in there, and the impression is bittersweet. The author doesn’t give any answers but he surely raises a number of questions. He also invites us to feel compassion towards his characters and towards each other. Yes, we all have flaws. We all stumble. We are all dysfunctional but we all deserve a little love anyway.

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