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The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
Author: Tennessee Williams
No play in the modern theatre has so captured the imagination and heart of the American public as Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie. Menagerie was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Lau...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780811214049
ISBN-10: 0811214044
Publication Date: 6/1999
Pages: 105
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 113

3.6 stars, based on 113 ratings
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 100 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A review from Amazon.com:
Amanda Wingfield, the matriarch of "The Glass Menagerie," always tells her daughter, Laura, that she should look nice and pretty for gentleman callers, even though Laura has never had any callers at their St. Louis apartment. Laura, who limps because of a slight physical deformity, would rather spend her time playing with the animals in her glass menagerie and listening to old phonograph records instead of learning shorthand and typing so she can be employable. When she learns Laura has only been pretending to go to secretarial school, Amanda decides Laura must have a real gentleman caller and insists her son Tom, who works at a shoe factory, find one immediately. After a few days, Tom tells Amanda he has invited a young man named Jim O'Connor home for dinner and at long last Laura will have her first gentleman caller.

The night of the dinner Amanda does every thing she can to make sure Laura looks more attractive. However, when Laura realizes that the Jim O'Connor who is visiting is possibly the same Jim on whom she had a crush in high school, she does not want to go through with the dinner. Although she has to be excused from the dinner because she has made herself physically ill, Laura is able to impress Jim with her quiet charm when the two of them keep company in the living room and she finally loses some of her shyness. When Jim gives Laura her first kiss, it looks as if Amanda's plans for Laura's happiness might actually come true. But no one has ever accused Tennessee Williams of being a romantic.

"The Glass Menagerie" was the first big success in the long and storied career of playwright Tennessee Williams. Written in 1944, the drama consists of reworked material from one of Williams' short stories, "Portrait of a Girl in Glass," and his screenplay, "The Gentleman Caller." In many ways it is an atypical drama from Williams, with the character of Tom (a role I will confess to playing on stage) serving as a narrator who breaks the "fourth wall" and addresses the audience, which evinces Williams' affinity for Eugene O'Neill (e.g., "The Emperor Jones") at this point in his career. Tom tells the audience that this play offers truth dressed up as illusion, and in his stage directions (which are usually not taken full advantage of in the various performances I have seen because what was cutting edge in 1944 is overly quaint today) he uses not only monologues but also music and projections to enhance the memories on display. Williams also explicitly tells his audience that the gentleman call is the symbol of "the expects something that we live for."

This "memory play" tells of a family trapped in destructive patterns. After being abandoned by her husband, Amanda Wingfield, a woman of the Great Depression, has become trapped between worlds of illusion and reality. She says she wants what is best for her children, but seems incapable of acknowledging what that would be or actually providing it for them. Tom, tired of only watching adventure at the movies, is determined to break away from his dominating mother, but stays only for the sake of his sister. Laura may not be the glamorous belle of the ball her mothers wants, but she has her own inner charm and when confronted with Jim, a visitor from the normal world, there is the chance that she will finally claim her life as her own. This is a poignant drama on the importance of love and it represents a memory of not only family but also of loss.
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reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 8 more book reviews
Required reading that you might love, like me.
reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 100 more book reviews
A review from Amazon.com:
Amanda Wingfield, the matriarch of "The Glass Menagerie," always tells her daughter, Laura, that she should look nice and pretty for gentleman callers, even though Laura has never had any callers at their St. Louis apartment. Laura, who limps because of a slight physical deformity, would rather spend her time playing with the animals in her glass menagerie and listening to old phonograph records instead of learning shorthand and typing so she can be employable. When she learns Laura has only been pretending to go to secretarial school, Amanda decides Laura must have a real gentleman caller and insists her son Tom, who works at a shoe factory, find one immediately. After a few days, Tom tells Amanda he has invited a young man named Jim O'Connor home for dinner and at long last Laura will have her first gentleman caller.

The night of the dinner Amanda does every thing she can to make sure Laura looks more attractive. However, when Laura realizes that the Jim O'Connor who is visiting is possibly the same Jim on whom she had a crush in high school, she does not want to go through with the dinner. Although she has to be excused from the dinner because she has made herself physically ill, Laura is able to impress Jim with her quiet charm when the two of them keep company in the living room and she finally loses some of her shyness. When Jim gives Laura her first kiss, it looks as if Amanda's plans for Laura's happiness might actually come true. But no one has ever accused Tennessee Williams of being a romantic.

"The Glass Menagerie" was the first big success in the long and storied career of playwright Tennessee Williams. Written in 1944, the drama consists of reworked material from one of Williams' short stories, "Portrait of a Girl in Glass," and his screenplay, "The Gentleman Caller." In many ways it is an atypical drama from Williams, with the character of Tom (a role I will confess to playing on stage) serving as a narrator who breaks the "fourth wall" and addresses the audience, which evinces Williams' affinity for Eugene O'Neill (e.g., "The Emperor Jones") at this point in his career. Tom tells the audience that this play offers truth dressed up as illusion, and in his stage directions (which are usually not taken full advantage of in the various performances I have seen because what was cutting edge in 1944 is overly quaint today) he uses not only monologues but also music and projections to enhance the memories on display. Williams also explicitly tells his audience that the gentleman call is the symbol of "the expects something that we live for."

This "memory play" tells of a family trapped in destructive patterns. After being abandoned by her husband, Amanda Wingfield, a woman of the Great Depression, has become trapped between worlds of illusion and reality. She says she wants what is best for her children, but seems incapable of acknowledging what that would be or actually providing it for them. Tom, tired of only watching adventure at the movies, is determined to break away from his dominating mother, but stays only for the sake of his sister. Laura may not be the glamorous belle of the ball her mothers wants, but she has her own inner charm and when confronted with Jim, a visitor from the normal world, there is the chance that she will finally claim her life as her own. This is a poignant drama on the importance of love and it represents a memory of not only family but also of loss.
reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 813 more book reviews
Mom is over-controlling: no wonder dad absconded. Daughter is lame and shy: rapt in her collection of glass animals. Son is browbeaten by momas is Raymond by Mom Baronebut at least the son escapes at the end. The gentleman caller iswell, hes engaged to be married. Thus, he shatters moms (and maybe daughters) hopes just as the glass animals are by each of the male persuasions.
reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 4 more book reviews
This book is actually a play by Tennessee Williams, author of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. It is the story of a Southern family.
reviewed The Glass Menagerie on + 4 more book reviews
Drama. This book is actually not a book but the complete script of the play. It discuses everything from plots, set design, lighting and a complete list of scenes and all characters and lines!


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