Steven E. Milburn Jr.
"THE GLASS MENAGERIE":
Ingredients of a Tragic Drama and a Modern Tragic Heroine
Tennessee Williams wrote and created the play, "The Glass Menagerie," with the
concept of tragedy in mind. Random House's denotative meaning of the word tragedy is
as follows: a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber
theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict
with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to down fall or destruction. The play
takes place within a small dingy apartment in St. Louis during the late 1930's, a time of
enjoying a waltz, listening to phonograph records, and experiencing social or economical
misfortune. The action of the play revolves around three characters that are all
Wingfields: Amanda (the mother,) Tom (the son,) and Laura (the daughter). Each
character endures some type of adversity throughout the play, which can possibly be
attributed to the fact that Mr. Wingfield (husband / father) abandoned them years earlier.
"The Glass Menagerie" contains several attributes relevant to a tragedy play such as the
serious struggle between Amanda (protagonist) and Tom (antagonist). In order for us to
justifiably label "The Glass Menagerie" as a tragic drama we must thoroughly examine
the play and prove that it contains the proper ingredients to make a tragic drama;
furthermore, we need to focus on how the character of Amanda fits the characteristics of
a modern tragic heroine.
"The Glass Menagerie" can be classified as a tragic drama by analyzing and revealing
the tragic events that happened in Amanda's life. Tragedy is foreshadowed from the
beginning: Tom opens up the play with tragic news of his absent father, a "fifth character
in the play who doesn't appear except in this larger-than-life photograph over the... [continues]
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"The Glass Menagerie." StudyMode.com. 10, 2005. Accessed 10, 2005. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Glass-Menagerie-67167.html.