English Journal for “The Glass Menagerie” Scene I As described

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English Journal for "The Glass Menagerie" Scene I As described in the Introduction, Tom's character seems to greatly reflect the author, Tennessee Williams. Tom's soliloquy at the beginning of this scene is quite interesting. It immediately becomes obvious that Tom is the narrator of the play, it is therefore told from his perspective. Tom begins to identify the characters we will later on be introduced to. He tells us of Amanda, his mother and Laura, his sister. He also makes reference to "gentlemen callers". I can only speculate that these are fictional characters that will be introduced later in the play. There is also a portrait that he mentions of his father, who is (pardon the pun) no longer in the picture.

This scene later brings you to the dinner table with Tom, Amanda and Laura. 1.3 Tom is clearly aggravated by his mother's criticism. 1.3 If I could choose one word to describe him it would be "aggravated". He also appears to be losing patience with her constant ramblings about her past. Amanda brags about how she had at one time 17 gentlemen callers appear at her door. You get the impression that she is so reminiscent about her past because she is so unhappy with her current situation. Perhaps Amanda wishes that she would have made a different choice of husband, given her selection. You can't help but wonder though, is her memory all that accurate? Or is she clinging to delusions? 1.3 The play is clearly concerned with the components of a dysfunctional American family trying to get through the Great Depression.

I tend to sympathize with Laura's character the most. Her mother puts a lot of pressure on her to impress "gentlemen callers" who aren't even showing up. Laura must feel like a disappointment to her mother, and this, cannot be easy to live with.

1.1 This also seemed to be a fascinating yet depressing era. As I learned at the end of Appendix B, one out of every four U.S. workers were unemployed. This was clearly a difficult period to live in. I wonder what sort of social welfare system they had if any at all.

1.4 "Ou sont les neiges" I think that they used this song in scene one as a reflection of how Amanda must feel. She must have a longing for her childhood home and her youth and perhaps she is reminiscing on happier times.

Scene II At the beginning of the second scene it only becomes more and more evident at just how critical Amanda is of her daughter, Laura. You almost begin to form an immediate dislikeness for Amanda. You would relate her to an overly critical parent or parental figure from your own childhood. It seems that Amanda is trying to live out her own unfulfilled fantasies through her daughter who seems not only antisocial, but disinterested.

You can tell by the fact that Laura walked aimlessly around the city for a few months to avoid telling her mother that she had dropped out of school, that Laura was very eager to please her mother. Perhaps she was just more afraid of displeasing her mother. Regardless, their relationship is -frail- to say the least.

As I read on I'm beginning to think that perhaps Amanda is genuinely trying to make her daughter happy, although she clearly isn't going about it the wrong way. Amanda's deepest fear is that Laura might never marry. She wants for Laura's future happiness perhaps more so than she wants for her own. Amanda might feel that it is too late for her to realize her own dreams, but Laura, symbolizes her hope.

You might also wonder whatever became of Jim, the boy Laura knew from high school. Did he eventually marry that popular, well-dressed girl, Emily? Or didn't he? Will his character be resurrected to their "Glass Menagerie" in the next few scenes??? 1.2 I was always wondering why Tennessee Williams had such a peculiar name. After reading Appendix C I realized that "Tennessee" was just a nickname that he was given and that his real name is Thomas Lanier Williams. I was very impressed by all the awards that he won especially the...
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