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The Glass Menagerie

By reamykins May 07, 2013 756 Words
Reamy Pena
Sidney Fortner
English Composition II
April 30, 2013
The Glass Menagerie
“The Glass Menagerie” is a play about a woman named Amanda Wingfield who is “the remnant of Southern gentility” who lives in very poor conditions in St. Louis with her son and daughter, Tom and Laura. Laura is cripplingly shy and is constantly enabled by her mother. Tom is simply trying to get away from the poverty stricken area that they live in. overall the play outlines their lives and Amanda’s wish to marry off Laura so that she may be “taken care of” and not have to suffer as she has losing her prominent living. A big turning point in the play is when Tom invites his friend Jim over for dinner and Amanda thinks her hope for her daughter has been fulfilled in him and that he will marry her and take care of her.

The play originally came out in 1945 and was reviewed by the New York Times. In the original review, it was stated that it was the best play of the year and it was nominated for a Pulitzer the same year. Before the play opened on Broadway, it was run in Chicago and was wildly successful. When it won best play of the year, the award was offered “To Tennessee Williams for his play ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and its sensitive understanding of four troubled human beings.”

Since its debut, “The Glass Menagerie” was a hit and it continues to be a hit. I believe this is because it is a very relatable story. In one way or another, anyone who watches the play can identify with anyone of the colorful characters. Whether you’re shy like Laura, a dreamer like Tom, someone who is stuck in wanting to go back like Amanda, or all of the above, you will find a small comfort in knowing that youre not alone and that someone else feels the same even if it is just a play. Another point that makes the story so relatable is Toms need to get away and travel. As I stated earlier many people can relate to Tom and his feeling of wanting to get away and do better for themselves. Toms need to get out of poverty is a classic American story that many people who come to this country and who are already in this country. The play’s ending may not be a glorious fairytale ending but it is realistic. For many people that is what happens. They need to just walk away and try somewhere new like Tom did and they also have to realize that sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want no matter how hard you want it to.

Another thing that makes this play so famous is that the whole cast makes a whole person. In a commentary on the characters Tennessee Williams states, “to tell you the truth, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a complete person. I’ve met many people that seemed well-adjusted, but I’m not sure that to be well-adjusted to things as they are is a desideratum – is that the word? that which is to be desired.” Basically, the four characters are fragments of one person. We all have different parts that make us up. When you get to know each part of yourself, they can stand on their own or they can continue to make you who you are.

“The Glass Menagerie” is refreshing and instructive in that it teaches you to not always expect a happy ending but to treasure what you do have. I believe that that is a big part of what makes it so popular. Not only is it relatable, it helps you to look at things realistically and be able to move and grow from there. When you can identify with all the characters in a play, then you can feel the message more and carry it with you longer and when you carry it with you longer, you want to share it. That to me, is why this play is so popular, you just want to share it with a friend.

Works Cited
Calhoun, Ada. "A 'Glass' Half Full." NY Magazine. New York Times, n.d. Web. 16      Apr. 2013. <http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/theater/reviews/11599/>. "Glass Menagerie' Is Best Play of Year, Drama Critics Decide." NYtimes. New      York Times, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 1945. <http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/12/      31/specials/williams-dramacrit.html>.

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