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Tom states that the events are based on a "working memory" thus suggesting that aspects of the story are exaggerated. Williams works to point out that the story will not follow the conventions of conventional theatre which is evident in the narrator addressing the audience directly.
3. Describe the contrast between Amanda's perception of the night Jim comes to visit, and Laura's perception of the same evening. What does this tell us about the relationship between Amanda and her children, and about Laura's future?
Amanda accuses Tom of playing something of a practical joke on her and Laura. Her dreams for her daughter were shattered after they had prepared both physically and mentally for the diner. The diner was expensive for the family and ended in disaster. While Amanda's reaction was one of anger, Laura's could be better described by desolation. The glass unicorn shattered which represents how Jim's presence…
86). Jim symbolically inspires Laura to accept her individuality and to see that beneath her outstanding traits she is no different from anyone else. His gentility and kindness, borne of Southern culture, help Laura come to terms with herself and her social awkwardness.
Laura's personality transformation through Jim's kindness paralleled her symbolic transformation through the unicorn. Had the unicorn not been made of glass, its horn would not have so easily fallen off. Moreover, the unicorn broke during a moment of joy for Laura, during a dance. illiams seems to suggest that Laura will achieve positive personal transformation as a result of her interaction with Jim.
The transformation from unicorn into horse is a central symbol in the Glass Menagerie. In fact, Durham also notes that illiams was concerned with the concept of personal transformation when he wrote the play (p. 62). Ironically Laura, who is crippled physically and socially,…
Durham, Frank. "Tennessee Williams, Theatre Poet in Prose." Modern Critical Interpretations: Tennessee William's the Glass Menagerie. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1988. Pp. 59-73.
Falk, Signi. "The Southern Gentlewoman." Modern Critical Interpretations: Tennessee William's the Glass Menagerie. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1988. pp. 79-87.
Watson, Charles S. "The Revision of the Glass Menagerie: The Passing of Good Manners." Modern Critical Interpretations: Tennessee William's the Glass Menagerie. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1988. Pp. 75-78.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: NewDirections, 1945.
Glass Menagerie: An Uncertain Reality
This essay will examine the ways in which the three main characters in "The Glass Menagerie" soften with harshness of day-to-day living with an insulating blanket of self-deception.
This play is one of Tennessee illiams's earliest and most biographical plays (Patterson, 27).
"The Glass Menagerie" was written by Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" illiams (1911-1983) in 1944, incorporating his short story "Portrait of a Girl in Glass" with the unproduced screenplay "The Gentleman Caller" (illiamson, 184).
It was first presented on December 26, 1944 (illiamson, 141).
The initial ticket sales were so poor that a closing notice was prepared following the early performances.
illiams himself expected it to last for only a few presentations.
E. Influential theatrical critics were impressed by the play, however, and began to champion its virtues in their regular newspaper column.
F. The audiences quickly picked up, so that mid-January of 1945, it…
1. "A Noise Within - Tennessee Williams' 'The Glass Menagerie." Internet:
2. Hale, Allean. (1995). "Tennessee Williams's St. Louis Blues," The Mississippi Quarterly,
Vol. 48, 1995.
In The Glass Menagerie, the self-induced isolation of Laura stands in parallel to the mostly perceived isolation of Tom. These siblings suffer from symbiotic emotional illnesses that, if we are to understand illiams' works taken together, are indicative of a home itself shrouded in an unhealthy blanket of stunted relationships and the chilling void of empathy.
The Glass Menagerie would be the first of his plays to achieve widespread critical and popular success, with a series of Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critic Circle recognitions distinguishing his period of greatest literary achievement. Ultimately though, the text seems through the actions of a character such as Tom, to function as a statement of resistance against the ordinary confines which his family life seemed to have thrust upon illiams. In The Glass Menagerie illiams provides a narrative that is deeply tied to the static moments defining the despairingly mundane lives of its primary…
Holditch, K. & Leavitt, R.F. Tennessee Williams and the South. University Press of Mississippi.
Pagan, N. (1993). Rethinking Literary Biography. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
O'Connor, J. (1997). Dramatizing Dementia: Madness in the Plays of Tennessee Williams. Bowling Green State University Press.
Williams, Tennessee (1944). The Glass Menagerie. New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Humankind's destiny has always been driven by fate and circumstances and in dealing with these two, people have ways of changing the outcome while others simply accept what comes their way. Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie is a play that portrays the manners by which the characters handle their situations in life. What they have are not the best of circumstances especially since the play was set during the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s where poverty and despondency were the norms for those living in the era. Thus, with the dismal and squalor surrounding the characters of the play, they each have their way of dealing with them by either not facing reality and living in the past, feeling imprisoned and having difficulty escaping reality, or simply turning one's back and walking away. These same situations or actions have been how the…
Frederic, C. (2007). The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Retrieved July 12, 2011 from http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/cfrederic/tennesseewilliams.htm
Janardanan, D. (2007, November 13). Images of loss in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother, and Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive. Retrieved July 12, 2011 from http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=english_diss
Williams, Tennessee. (1945). The Glass Menagerie. Retrieved July 12, 2011 from http://mattlally.com/fiction/the_glass_menagerie.pdf
Tennessee illiams, His Mother and the Glass Menagerie
Tennessee illiams is among the most celebrated playwrights of the 20th century. His family portraits, set to the backdrop of a deteriorating Southern tradition, are a window into human foibles like vanity, insecurity, detachment and personal disappointment. All of these themes are in full display with illiams' breakthrough work, 1944's The Glass Menagerie. A peering insight into the unhappy lives of the ingfields, the story is told from son Tom's point-of-view and concerns his relationship with his overbearing mother Amanda and his emotionally introverted and cripplingly shy sister Laura. However, the story is driven almost entirely by the will of Amanda, an aged Southern Belle abandoned by her husband and generally focusing her neuroses on her two adult children. This complex set of relationships is culled directly from illiams' real experiences as a child, with the characters of Amanda and…
O'Connor, J. (1997). Dramatizing Dementia: Madness in the Plays of Tennessee Williams. Bowling Green State University Press.
Williams, T. (2011). The Glass Menagerie: The Deluxe Edition. New Directions
owards the play's end, om tells his audience/readers: "Oh Laura...I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette...anything that can blow your candles out!" his passage from the play showed how, in his fear for his sister and attempt to shield her from the harshness of life, om wanted to "blow (Laura's) candles out," an act that symbolizes her eventual lack of hope for life to become better for her and the Wingfields.
his expressed hopelessness for Laura through om's character is reinforced by Laura herself, as influenced by Amanda's and om's perception of her as a weak individual, physically and emotionally. Her mother lacked the courage and love to steadfastly guide and strengthen Laura's character, as Laura believed that, through her mother's perception of her, she is a woman who has lost all hopes of attaining…
This expressed hopelessness for Laura through Tom's character is reinforced by Laura herself, as influenced by Amanda's and Tom's perception of her as a weak individual, physically and emotionally. Her mother lacked the courage and love to steadfastly guide and strengthen Laura's character, as Laura believed that, through her mother's perception of her, she is a woman who has lost all hopes of attaining a wonderful life of being a wife and mother, as mirrored in Amanda's worries that Laura will not be able to get married: "Mother's afraid I'm going to be an old maid." While Laura is central to both Tom's and Amanda's motivations and frustrations in life, she was depicted as not having a stronger voice in the play. Tom and Amanda acted as Laura's 'voices' that developed her character throughout the play. By clinging to the fact that she is a cripple and allowing herself to be 'drowned' in her mother's fears, Laura took away from herself the ability to change her life like Tom, further intensifying the level of dysfunction in their family.
Lastly, Amanda, although not a central character of the play, was actually a critical catalyst that prompted Tom to leave the family and for Laura to silently accept her plight as an 'old maid.' She pressured both Tom and Laura to lead 'normal, functional' lives despite the inherent dysfunction that she contributes to her family. In Laura, she only proved that she is a traditional mother who believed that her family has a rightful place in the society, albeit an unrealistic one and directly clashed with real life. This point is expressed by Amanda in Scene 2, where she admonishes her daughter for not living her life to the fullest, and being self-absorbed by her physical defect: "So what are we going to do the rest of our lives?... Amuse ourselves with the glass menagerie?... I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy a position..." (42). In this instance, Amanda puts pressure into Laura's already dwindling self-confidence, by her reminding her that she has yet to achieve what every woman aspires to be in their society -- becoming a mother and wife. Laura, crippled and hence, physically immobile, is also becoming socially immobile, who had lost opportunities in life because of her physical defect.
Williams, T. (1987). The Glass Menagerie. NY: Signet.
The costumes used in the film production are suitable for the characters in the play, and are not appreciably different from ones that would be seen on Broadway.
William's The Glass Menagerie is a complex tale about relationships, social norms, gender roles, and psychological health. The playwright would have wanted audiences to think hard about each of these issues. Remarkably, the play's main themes are universal. Williams was an American, but the themes he writes about apply equally as well to any other culture. All cultures contend with gender roles and norms, and the overbearing mother is a common stereotype. Tom's masculinity is also called into question throughout the play.
4. Acting styles
John Malkovich emotes without overacting, which is why he is a renowned and well-respected actor. His role as Tom is ideal because of his ability to get angry in a realistic way. Although not as…
Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, presents the drama of three family members who live in a world whose values and supporting pillars are shaking as a consequence of the disastrous economic times people went through during the Great Depression. The lack of role models in the micro universe of the Wingfield family as well as their dissolution in the macro universe of the whole American society is deeply and irreversibly affecting the three members of the family and their relationship.
Amanda, the mother, the Southern belle type who was raised with the privileges of a class that is no longer enjoying the economic privileges of a wealthy family, is forced to live in a rented apartment with her two children, Laura and Tom, in one of the lower class quarter of the city. Her husband left them when the children were very young and they are financially…
Experiment with the arts to find your voice and suddenly you will not feel so shy after all. Your creative medium will become the voice you have been seeking for your entire life. Through it you will relate to the outside world and to the special people that inhabit it. You will stop worrying about fitting in, because it will be others who will hope to fit into your world.
Laura, those close to you feel honored to be in your presence. You saw that Jim felt smitten with you, and I believed he helped you to believe in yourself. Despite of what you may think Tom also loves you dearly and misses you deeply. Your family will always be there for you if and when you need them.
You can trust them but more importantly, you can trust yourself. Value your independence, your solitude, and your time alone. Through…
Response to a Reading of "The Glass Menagerie"
The story by Tennessee illiams (1973) is one that seems to confuse a lot of people. The story itself seemed pretty simple, but there could be many different interpretations made of the characters and events that took place. It seems that for the most part the characters could not accept reality and that they built figurative walls to protect themselves. Another point to be examined in the story was who the main characters were. From the reading, it seems that "The Glass Menagerie" is about personal discovery and that Jim O'Connor can actually be said to be one of the main characters if not the main character even though he enters the action late.
The scene that dominates the play is that of the apartment rented by the ingfield family. A dance hall across the street, a warehouse and movie…
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: Random House, 1973. Print.
She also knows her own personal reasons for doing this. For instance, at the end of the play she admits to Tom that she understands self-control and what dreams and escaping are all about, "Go then. Go to the moon -- you selfish dreamer!" Did she once say these words to her husband as well when he disappeared?
Laura, because of her disability, also disappears into a fantasy world as a way to deal with her personal stress. It consists of the clear, shining world of her glass animals. These glass figurines also give her something to love and to fondle that is missing in her present life. The here and now only offers her fragile hopes that she know will break like her glass, as when Jim comes for dinner. The broken unicorn represents her shattered life, because she does not considers herself physically whole with her limp. Yet…
Eakambaram, (ed) a. Glass Managerie. Tennessee Williams. New Delhi: S. Chand, 2005
Glass Menagerie http://pagesperso-orange.fr/absolutenglish-972/notes/uscivi/glassmenagerie/ressourcepage.htm
Tom's monologue is also highly important, as it shows him actively justifying his actions and feeling guilty over them, too.
The critical approach used in this paper will be psychoanalysis and biographical criticism. An understanding of Tennessee Williams' relationship with his real-life sister Rose sheds some light on the origins of the play's story. The psychoanalysis of Tom's character will reveal the guilt he feels towards his sister and how it is tied to his relationship with his mother. All of these are also tremendously important in regards to Tom's (and Tennessee's) sexuality.
Nicholas Pagan's book Rethinking Literary Biography: A Postmodern Approach to Tennessee Williams is an interesting look at the author's life and how it intersects with his literary work. There are portions of the book that would help support my thesis, as well as some conclusions that Pagan draws that disagree. Both of these would be useful in…
Her expectation is anything but realistic. To deal with her mother's insurmountable expectations, Laura disappears into her own fantasy world with the sparkling, clear world of the glass animals. These unique glass figurines give her something positive and of value, which is lacking in her present life.
nfortunately, Laura, like her mother, cannot always stay in this fantasy world. She has a more difficult time staying in an unrealistic world freeing herself from the pain of her present one. The broken unicorn represents her fractured life; she is not physically whole with her limp and emotional fragility. She clearly recognizes the truth about herself, as she says to her mother: "I'm crippled!" (Williams xx) That is, she cannot complete Amanda's expectation; she cannot be "as popular" as her mother. Every once and a while, she forgets who she is. She forgets that she cannot live up to her mother's or…
Unfortunately, Laura, like her mother, cannot always stay in this fantasy world. She has a more difficult time staying in an unrealistic world freeing herself from the pain of her present one. The broken unicorn represents her fractured life; she is not physically whole with her limp and emotional fragility. She clearly recognizes the truth about herself, as she says to her mother: "I'm crippled!" (Williams xx) That is, she cannot complete Amanda's expectation; she cannot be "as popular" as her mother. Every once and a while, she forgets who she is. She forgets that she cannot live up to her mother's or even her own personal expectations. For example, she has fragile hopes that she will shine liker her glass and be something special when Jim comes for dinner. She is instead resigned to her continually despondent and lonely future. It is Jim, the representative of reality, who makes both Laura and Amanda see the world for what it is.
When the play comes to an end, the Wingfields are more in touch with reality as they were previously. Amanda says she has put aside her "silliness" and realizes more fully that she cannot change Laura. She blames Tom for his selfish dreaming, but actually it has been her selfish dreaming all along that caused such problems. People cannot be changed from who they are, even loved ones.
Williams, Tennessee. "Glass Menagerie" Literature, an Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eds. Edgar Roberts and Henry Jacobs. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007, xx-xx
Laura is mortified by Amanda's attempt to make her seem sexual and attractive because she is so shy. She had a crush on Jim when she was in high school but is convinced that no man can love her because of her physical disability. Laura, unlike Amanda, is not focused on the future and what she will do to make a living. When Jim tells her that he is engaged to be married, Laura's brief hopes for love and normalcy are shattered and she seems to withdraw from the world. Amanda is also shocked, but the event enables her to see Laura clearly -- after Jim leaves Amanda says that Laura is crippled for the first time in the play. But she is unable to understand her own role in Laura's tragedy and instead blames Tom for the evening and the fact that he did not know that Jim was…
At the same time, every new failure only adds more to his need to hide from reality. This leads to the final point where he decides to commit suicide to save his family. This is his final illusion, where he wrongly believes that his family will be proud because so many people will come to his funeral. This shows that there is no change for Loman. He is escaping into a fantasy world at the beginning of the play, and his entire actions are governed by his false reality at the end of the play. This goes to the most extreme point, where he would rather kill himself than admit the truth.
Laura is quite different because she is at an earlier stage in her use of illusions. Her illusions are a knowing escape for her, but she is aware that they are not real. However, Laura is still young.…
Centola, S.R. "Family Values in Death of a Salesman." CLA Journal 37.1 (1993): 29-41.
Davis, J.K. "Landscapes of the Dislocated Mind in Williams' 'The Glass Menagerie.'" in Tennessee Williams: A Tribute. Ed. Jac Tharpe. Hattiesburg: Heritage Printers, 1977: 192-206.
Miller, a. "Tragedy and the Common Man." In Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. X.J. Kennedy & Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 2002: 1948-1951.
Thompson, J. Tennessee William's Plays: Memory, Myth, and Symbol. New York: Peter Land Publishing, 1987.
This delicate girl lives an isolated life and her world is not real. The only time she gets a chance to enter the adult world and leave her fragile world behind is when a stranger Jim visits her one evening. The experience as tragic as it turned out to be did not really have to be used the way it had been. Instead it could serve as a very important breakthrough in Laura's life. But either due to Laura's own arrested development or her mother's dominating shadow, the incident was cited as a tragedy and Laura was further relegated to very dark corners of her existence. The world that understands grit and confidence could find no room for a girl like Laura who was psychologically crippled: "For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura -- and so goodbye" (237).
The glass menagerie and the whole…
The Theatre of Tennessee Williams, Vol. 1: Battle of Angels, a Streetcar Named Desire, the Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions, 1971.
The world of 1930s America was certainly quite different from the one we have today. For this reason, it is important to study the relationship of Laura and Amanda with this disturbing industrialized society in mind. In those days, single parenthood was not as common as it is today and thus we can imagine the problems women went through when they were abandoned by their husbands. If Amanda appears to be highly neurotic and rather too possessive of her children, then blame must be put not on her but on the times in which she lived.
1930s was the time when America was undergoing severe economic depression and the world had increasingly become too industrialized and materialized for simple people to breathe easily. This materialization was not only regarding money but also applied to everything from beauty to values to a person's worth. e notice that in the…
King, Thomas L. "Irony and Distance in The Glass Menagerie." In Tennessee Williams. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. 85-94.
Bloom, Harold. Introduction. Tennessee Williams. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1987. 1-8.
Works of Tennessee Williams: Glass Menagerie: Part 2., Monarch Notes, 01-01-1963.
Cardullo, Bert, Williams's 'The Glass Menagerie.' (American playwright Tennessee Williams). Vol. 55, The Explicator, 03-22-1997, pp 161(3).
Glass Menagerie: The Importance of the Father
One of the reasons for this plays success and its acceptance as an "American Classic" of the theater is the strong and resonating themes of imprisonment and freedom; which are presented in the play in a contemporary and recognizable context. The play revolves around the central character and narrator of Tom Wingfield who is trapped within the psychological and financial constraints of his family. He is deeply frustrated by the need to be free and to live his own life and express his individuality, but is held back by his sense of guilt and responsibility to his mother and sister. The underlying background to his internal conflict is the ever-present and pervasive image of his absent father.
The father deserted the family years before and although he does not appear in the play, his presence is felt and his character is a dominating…
Rosefeldt P. The Absent Father in Modern Drama. Peter Lang Publishers: New York. 1996.
Tischler Nancy M. Student Companion to Tennessee Williams Greenwood Press: Westport, CT. 2000.
Escape for Tom means the suppression and denial of these emotions in himself, and it means doing great harm to his mother and sister." (www.sparknotes.com/lit/menagerie/themes.html)
This play seems to revolve around the character of Laura, even though she is the one with the less lines and the one that appears to be the most weak. he is also the most powerfull symbol in the play. "The physically and emotionally crippled Laura is the only character in the play who never does anything to hurt anyone else. Despite the weight of her own problems, she displays a pure compassion (...) that stands in stark contrast to the selfishness and grudging sacrifices that characterize the Wingfield household. Laura also has the fewest lines in the play, which contributes to her aura of selflessness. Yet she is the axis around which the plot turns, and the most prominent symbols -- blue roses, the…
1. Author not available, "The Glass Menagerie Book Notes," from Bookrags.com, Copyright 2000-2006 Bookrags, Inc., retrieved August 1st, 2006, http://www.bookrags.com/notes/gm/SUM.html
2. Eddie Borey, "ClassicNote on Glass Menagerie," May 31, 2000, copyright held by GradeSaver, 1999-2006, retrieved August 1st,2006 http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/menagerie/shortsumm.html
3. Author not available, "The Glass Menagerie," Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, July 21st, 2006. Retrieved: August 1st, 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Menagerie
4. Jaffee, Valerie and Lichtenstein, Jesse, SparkNote on "The Glass Menagerie." Retrieved August 1st, 2006
Although its narrator and author are men, The Glass Menagerie is arguably a play about women in the 1930s. As such, author Tennessee Williams gives women a voice they might not otherwise have had, and at first glance the play could be considered a positive feminist statement just by nature of having major women characters. However, while giving the women voice, Williams denigrates them at the same by presenting Amanda and Laura as representative women characters. As the failed Southern belle, Amanda is manipulative, self-centered, delusional and cruel. Laura, an emotional and literal "cripple," cannot face the real world and is as weak and delicate as her glass collection. Not only do these characters present a problematic view of women, but the choice of a man, Tom, as the narrator is an additional weakness in the play. The reader sees the women only through Tom's eyes, and as…
Amanda is a former southern belle, who enjoyed a very comfortable and somewhat decadent upbringing. After her husband leaves, and she struggles to raise and financially support her children alone, her social life suffers, making her frustrated and lonely just like her highly introverted daughter. This is perhaps why she is so focused upon finding a suitor (and eventually husband) for Laura. She does not want her daughter to suffer the same kind of social marginalization she has suffered as a single woman, in addition to the social marginalization Laura already suffers as a result of her personality and social disorders.
It seems fairly obvious that Amanda does not have many if any friends of her own and of her age group, particularly when Tom introduces her to Jim, and she immediately begins to, in almost hysterical fashion, give him her life story. In the 21st century American slang, young…
Barnard, D. Brent. "The Symbolism of Tennessee Williams' the Glass Menagerie': An Inductive Approach." Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. 2007. Print.
Price, Lindsay. "Analysis and Exercise -- Tennessee Williams." Theater Folk, Issue 44, Web, Available from: https://www.theatrefolk.com/spotlights/analysis-and-exercise-tennessee-williams. 2013 June 28.
Smith, Nicole. "Analysis and Plot Summary of "The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams." Article Myriad, Web, Available from: http://www.articlemyriad.com/analysis-summary-glass-menagerie/ . 2013 June 28.
Williams, Tennessee. "The Glass Menagerie." Provided. 1945. Print.
Their interaction is quite different in that it is more positive than Laura's interaction with Amanda. Jim is a male and while that may factor into Laura's mirror image, it is not significant. In fact, it is safe to say that Laura would have interacted with anyone that opened up to her on this level. It is easy to factor gender into the equation especially because Jim is a prospective husband. However, the connection between Laura and Jim goes deeper than that. Suppose Jim had been a female neighbor living next to the ingfields. Under basically the same circumstances - the two attending the same high school and the two being able to speak to one another openly - Laura would have grown just as fond of a female. The important aspect of this is that Laura needed someone with whom she could truly communicate. hile she may have been…
Levy, Eric. '"Through Soundproof Glass': The Prison of Self-Consciousness." GALE Resource Database. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com .
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy, Gioia, eds. New York: Longman. 1985. pp. 1710-1759.
Methods of Escape in the Glass Menagerie
The three members of the ingfield family are trapped within the claustrophobic confines of their poverty, sadness, and regret. However, each one of them escapes from the realities of their daily existence by engaging in acts of fantasy. For Tom, the narrator of the play, this escape is found through books, movies, and alcohol. His mother, Amanda, distances herself from her current condition by escaping into memories of a more genteel past. And, even more so than her mother or brother, Laura is incapable of living in the real world and instead chooses to escape from her fears and anxiety by creating a fantasy world that is symbolized by her love of the glass animals. The difficulties each character has in dealing with reality serves to drive them further apart from each other, heightening their isolation and causing them to retreat…
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions, 2011.
Helpless omen in the Glass Menagerie
omen are often depicted as helpless creatures and when we look at women during the Depression era, we should not be surprised to see some women not only depicted as helpless but also see them left helpless and hopeless as the men in their lives cope with the struggling economy. The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee illiams, reveals two female characters as helpless women, victims of the economy and the men in their lives. Amanda and Laura depend on Tom for not only their physical survival but they also depend on him for emotional support. As expected, Tom cannot support his mother and sister in either of these capacities and he ends up deserting them much like his father did. The Glass Menagerie provides a look at hopeless women and what allows them to stay that way in their world. The female characters in this…
Boxill, Roger. "The Glass Menagerie." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. Web. 29 April
2011. Facts On File Resource Database.
This change is subtle but it is important because, with this change, Laura has the most hope from her brother or her mother. Tom speaks at the end of the play as he does in the beginning of the play. He has not evolved not has he experienced anything that deepens his character. He is still as lost as he was before. Amanda, too, remains unchanged at the end of the play. It is Laura who emerges from some insular place to find her strength. However, she does not win a prize for doing so. She represents an aspect of the world that includes arbitrary catastrophes at every corner. She also represents one of illiams' finest characters because she does what many of us in the world want to do: "withdraw from the blinding light of reality into the softer world of illusion" (Stein). The darkness at the end of…
Stein, Roger B. "The Glass Menagerie' Revisited: Catastrophe without Violence." Western
Humanities Review 18.2.1964. Gale Research. 1992. Literature Resource Center. Web.
Information Retrieved August 12, 2010.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. An Introduction to Literature. 8th ed. Barnett,
Here we see that Laura is coming around and realizing that she, broken or not, is just like everyone else. Furthermore, the odd horn that made the unicorn seem "freakish" (1018) is no longer an issue. hen Laura realizes this, she also realizes that the things that make her seem like a freak to others may not be so significant, either. The time she spent with Jim allowed her to see that what makes her different might not be such a bad thing after all. She even tells Jim that with a broken horn, the unicorn "will feel more at home with the other horses" (1018). This statement reinforces Laura's change.
The broken unicorn also symbolizes how Laura must deal with the possibility of remaining single. The broken unicorn could very well be her broken heart. These things break, and when they do, they are rarely the same again. However,…
Barranger, Milly Understanding Plays. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1990.
Boxill, Roger. "The Glass Menagerie." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. Information Retrieved October 5, 2008. Facts on File Resource Database.
As mothers, wives and housekeepers women can hardly enact their sensibility: "Not having children makes less work -- but it makes a quiet house, and right out to work all day, and no company when he did come in."(Glaspell)
Men do nothing but laugh at the trivialities that women are preoccupied with, preserving their belief that the sensibility is something exaggerated and that women always make a fuss over the most banal things:
My, it's a good thing the men couldn't hear us. ouldn't they just laugh! Getting all stirred up over a little thing like a -- dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with--with -- wouldn't they laugh!"(Glaspell)
Glaspell's play therefore is truly enlightening in many respects, and is worthy of being represented on stage as it manages to pinpoint the way in which the interior world and the sensibility of the women is for…
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/eng384/trifles.htm
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. http://staff.bcc.edu/faculty_websites/jalexand/Williams -- The_Glass_Menagerie.htm
Susan Glaspell. Trifles.
Blurring the Gap Between Fiction and eal Life
This is a paper that outlines how modern literature integrates personal experiences of the writers into works of fiction. It has 5 sources.
It is quite interesting to note the means by which eminent writers attract attention to their ideas and literary content. On closer examination, we may come to the conclusion that the means by which public attention may be grabbed has followed a definite pattern through the years. While writers like Shakespeare and his contemporaries used fiction to project their literary geniuses, modern day writers strive to catch the attention of the masses by presenting their own personal conflicts and tragedies to the public. The modern writer has lessened the gap between a literary piece of work and real life. However, literature in the classical period is known for its often unnatural and over-dramatized perspectives on life. Today, the stories…
Wright, Richard A., Black Boy, Perennial, September 1, 1998
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie, New Directions Publishing; June 1999
Ward, Jerry, M. "Richard Wright-Black Boy," retrieved at http://www.newsreel.org/guides/richardw.htm . On April 2, 2004
King Thomas, L. Irony and distance in the Glass Menagerie in Tennessee Williams. Ed. Harold Bloom, New York: Chelsea house, 1987, 85-94
rebellious element in the characters of First Confession by Frank O' Connor, the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee illiams and Homage to my Hips by Lucille Clifton.
Themes of Literature
Frank O'Connor has an artist's touch, primarily because he choose between becoming a writer or an artist. In his writing his talent as an artist is evidenced. This is specially true for his short stories. The First Confession is contained within a compilation of short stories. Most of the short stories contained in the book and set in Ireland. The timing is of the years after the Southern Republic of Ireland became an independent nation.
No play in the modern theatre has so captured the imagination and heart of the American public as Tennessee illiams's The Glass Menagerie. The play marked the first success of the author and launched a rather brilliant career of lyric playwright. Part success of the play…
Felice, Aull. Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980. BOA (Brockport, N.Y.) 1997.
Connor, Frank O'. Collected Stories. Vintage. 1982
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New Directions Publishing. 1999
classic pieces of literature. The writer explores the primary texts, and secondary sources to develop a critical analysis of the characters and their dysfunction and how escapism is used in both situations. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and The Sound and the Fury are compared and contrasted while at the same time being individually analyzed for the purpose of exploring dysfunction, escapism and how it affects the family dynamic. The writer details several examples of each from each story and discusses why they are important to the story development and plot analysis. In the end the paper concludes that escapism for the purpose of these two stories is a product of the family dysfunction.
There were 15 sources used to complete this paper.
America seems enamored with the word "dysfunctional." Comedians make fun of the commonality that dysfunctional people and families have. People spend countless dollars each year…
Bloom, Harold, ed. Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie. Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea, 1988.
Corrigan, Mary Ann. "Beyond Verisimilitude: Echoes of Expressionism in Williams' Plays." Tennessee Williams: A Tribute. Ed. Jac Tharpe. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1977. 375-412.
Crowd and self: William Faulkner's sources of agency in The Sound and the Fury.(Critical Essay)
The Southern Literary Journal; 3/22/2002; Folks, Jeffrey J
Huge esearch Project
The conflict of the individual vs. society is a timeless conflict that plagues each and every one of us. It is an integral part of our genetic make-up so that despite everything we as individuals need to be part of society as our need for interdependence is so great. And that is the reason why the conflict of individual and society persists with no panacea for it, and will continue to be a war waged with either one triumphing over the other as the situation warrants.
Freud's psychoanalytic theory might have stirred up a controversy, but it was able to aptly indicate the everyday conflict that man faces being part of the society. His theory with id as the primal instincts that humans follow, the ego as the regulator and the superego as the philanthropist has enabled us to pinpoint the probable causes of this ubiquitous conflict…
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs motivational model. 2010. 6 December 2011 .
Ebert, Roger. "Forrest Gump." Chicago Sun-Times 6 July 1994.
Elliott, Anthony. Psychoanalytic Theory: An Introduction . North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2002 .
Maslin, Janet. "Forrest Gump Film Reiew; Tom Hanks as an Interloper in History ." New York Times 6 July 1994 .
Though Antigone is certainly the protagonist of the play, she makes her decision very early in the action -- she chooses to bury her brother despite the civil disobedience and disrespect of the State that it shows. Ismene, on the other hand, wavers between the two duties. hen Antigone is caught, her sister tries to take the blame with her: "But now you're in trouble, I'm not ashamed / of suffering, too, as your companion" (Sophocles, 540-1). Though Ismene's motives might be somewhat questionable, she is at least claiming a sense of duty and companionship with her sister -- and a desire to honor her brother -- by joining in the guilt of the act against the State. Antigone will not let her, again for reasons that could be put under debate. One possible explanation for Antigone's refusal to let Ismene share the punishment for the act would be her…
Sophocles. Antigone. Ian Johnston, trans. Accessed 5 March 2009. http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/sophocles/antigone.htm
Hamlet Annotated Bibliography
Cook, Patrick J. Cinematic Hamlet: the Films of Olivier, Zeffirelli, Branagh, and Almereyda.
Athens, Ohio: Ohio UP. 2011. Print. This book focuses on the many versions of Hamlet that have been made for the silver screen. The play by illiam Shakespeare is one of the most frequently filmed works and each version of the story has a unique perspective. Director, screenwriter, and of course actor each influence the overall position of the film. Each chooses which elements of the story to emphasize and which to underplay. Even films that use the complete text of Shakespeare's work still alter the original by the act of interpretation. By examining each version, focusing on the three four major ones, the author helps explain what was important to the artists and by extension to the audience who would have seen the film.
In the context of a paper, each film would…
Wood, William Dyson. Hamlet: From a Psychological Point-of-View. London, England:
Longmans. 1870. Print. This text was written nearly 150 years ago at the beginning stages of psychiatric and psychological medicines. Yet even from that early time period, psychologists and literary scholars alike were able to view the correlation between the characters in Hamlet and some severe psychological disorders. The author points to several of Hamlet's soliloquies, particularly the famous "To be or not to be" speech wherein Hamlet asks a myriad of hypothetical questions. These questions, Wood argues are actually the basis of all human thought. Everyone, he argues, questions the world and their place in it at some time.
Many critics have questioned Hamlet's mental state, as well as the mentalities of those around him. Of those critics, many have Hamlet not of sound mind. This does not seem to be the case in Wood's piece. Rather, he believes that Hamlet's actions are valid based upon the psychological medicine of the day.
Iago notices this flaw at once and plots to exploit it almost immediately. This is evident when he tells Roderigo:
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by th' nose
As asses are. (Shakespeare I.iii.393-6)
Here we see that Iago intends on using Othello's open nature against him by allowing him to believe that Desdemona is cheating. Othello has a tendency to be slightly gullible - especially when he believes he is interacting with a confidant. R. B Heilman notes that it is the villain in Othello that defines the tragic hero. hen Iago describes Othello as one "loving his own pride and purposes" (I.i.12), he is describing Othello's "tragic role" (Heilman 21) a.C. Bradley observes, "Othello's mind, for all its poetry, is very simple. He is not observant. His nature tends…
Aristotle. "Poetics." S.H. Butcher, Trans. MIT Internet Classics Archive. Information Retrieved March 01, 2009. http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.html
Bradley, a.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. Victoria: Penguin Books. 1991.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Kenneth Muir, ed. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
Heilman, R.B. "Modes of Irony in Othello." Shakespeare's Tragedies. Baltimore: Penguin Books. 1966.
Beaux Strategem by George Farquhar is about two greedy and recently broke men who plan to seduce heiresses to steal their fortune. The main characters are Aimwell and Archer who pose as a well-to-do gentleman and his manservant. The cast of characters include: Aimwell, Archer, Count Bellair a French officer, prisoner at Litchfield, Sullen a country blockhead, brutal to his wife, Freeman a gentleman from London, Foigard a priest, chaplain to the French officers, Gibbet a high-way-man, Houslow, his companions, Bagshot, Boniface the landlord of the inn, Scrub a servant to Mr. Sullen, Lady Bountiful an old civil country gentlewoman, that cures all her neighbours of all distemper, Dorinda Lady Bountiful's daughter, Mrs. Sullen her daughter-in-law, Gipsy maid to the ladies. The 2013 production is directed by Adam Simon and keeps quick pace and crisp dialogue to allow this latest production breathe new life to a 200+ year old play.…
Willlam Hazlitt largely comments on the contemporariness and universality of Hamlet's character: that although Shakespeare wrote the play more than 500 years ago, we have come to know the character of the tragic Prince quite well. Not only because we read about him in school, but also -- and more -- because we know his thoughts as we do our own. (Hazlitt 1900) His sayings and speeches are not only real but are as real as our own thoughts when we ponder and despair over our or others' misfortunes and grief. Each of us becomes Hamlet, in Hazlitt's view, whenever we bear the weight of reflection (Hazlitt), when the sun in us is made dim by "envious mists" in our hearts, whenever the world looks nothing better than a "dull blank," when our love is despised, or when sadness sticks to us and makes our mind sink within. Hazlitt goes…
1. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lecture on Hamlet. London:
George Bell and Sons, 1904
2. Hazlitt, William. Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth
and Characters of Shakespeare's Play. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900
structure of ancient and modern dramas to highlight their differences and similarities. The paper also shows how drama evolved over the centuries with references to Greek, Elizabethan and Modern plays.
MODEN AND ANCIENT DAMA: A COMPAISON
Drama has an inherent ability to adapt itself to the thinking and wishes of the society in which it takes birth. Therefore modern drama with all its intensity, relevance and eloquence is certainly more popular among modern audiences than its ancient counterpart. Still we cannot deny the importance of ancient dramatic concepts, models and devices in the development and evolution of modern drama. While ancient plays are mostly remembered for their grandeur and myths, close analysis reveals that there is more to them than meets the eye. All ancient Greek tragedies contain some similar elements, which set them apart from tragedies of later eras. While they basically concentrated on highlighting the significance of myths,…
Aristotle The POETICS Book XIII: 350 BCE Translated by S.H. Butcher Online version:
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, 1949 Penguin USA, 1 edition, October 6, 1998
Arthur Miller, "Tragedy and the Common Man," from The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller (Viking Press, 1978)
songs from the musical "Oklahoma!" Specifically, it will include an analysis of "I'm Just a Girl who can't Say No." How does the song transition from the text? What does the song do for the musical? What does the words and music reveal about the character?
I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No" is one of the most humorous songs in the musical "Oklahoma!" In it, Ado Annie, a kind of sad character who does not seem to have much chance of catching a man, talks about how she cannot say "no" to kisses and romance. "Other girls are coy an' hard to catch / ut other girls ain't havin' any fun! / Ev'ry time I lose a wrastlin' match / I have a funny feelin' that I won!" (Oklahoma!). Annie recognizes that she may not be the most attractive of the girls, but she is a little…
Oklahoma!. Dir. Fred Zinnemann. Perf. Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Eddie Albert, and Gloria Grahame. RKO Radio Pictures Inc., 1955.