The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a play about an unconventional American family during the 1940s. Amanda Wingfield has always told her daughter Laura to keep prim and proper so that when the day comes that a gentlemen caller comes, she will be ready. As a single parent, Amanda wants her daughter to attend business school and have a good job so she will have an opportunity with a good man. Laura, however, who dropped out of business school, would rather play with her animals in her glass menagerie. Finally, Amanda asks her son Tom to find someone for Laura. Reluctantly, Tom finds someone who is willing to come to dinner; however, the dinner ends

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up being anything but what is was planned to be.

This play shows us a family in destruction as the mother Amanda, tries to keep her family between her illusions and reality, while the older son Tom tries to find a sense of freedom and adventure. The daughter Laura, although not the most exuberant girl, has her own charm and delightfulness while trying to find her place in the world. The author tries to show a family filled with loss yet also with love.

As Tom narrates us through the play, it slowly drags on leaving readers waiting for the end. Although Tom, uses not only stage direction but also music and illusion to give the reader a vivid image of what is going on, the reader tends to skip over those parts in order to find the real climax of the story. While reading the play it is as if the story never really starts and it is just as though someone is just writing down what went on throughout their day. When something finally does happen, it ends to quickly and had such a lack of impact that it leaves the reader wondering if there was any point to the play at all. The idea of a quaint little family with traditional views does not appeal to today’s youth and many will find it difficult to enjoy such a play. The Glass Menagerie is not worth the read unless you want a quick read to get through the day.

By Shilpa N.

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