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The Glass Menagerie. By: Tennessee Williams. Presented By: Cindy Prom, Victoria Keith, Carlos Tovar, Carly Millard. Table of Contents. I) The Summarizer: Plot Pyramid – By: Carlos Tovar II)The Historian - By: Carly Millard S.1: Biography S.1: Continued S.2: Time Period

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the glass menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

By: Tennessee Williams

Presented By: Cindy Prom, Victoria Keith, Carlos Tovar, Carly Millard

table of contents
Table of Contents
  • I) The Summarizer: Plot Pyramid – By: Carlos Tovar
  • II)The Historian - By: Carly Millard
    • S.1: Biography
    • S.1: Continued
    • S.2: Time Period
    • S.3: Media Incarnations
  • III) The Stylist - By: Victoria Keith
    • S.1: Writing Style
    • S.2: Stylistic Elements
    • S.3: Literary Devices
    • S.4: Passages
  • IV) Comparison to Hamlet: Venn Diagram – By: Cindy Prom
  • V) Performance
the summarizer plot pyramid
The Summarizer Plot Pyramid
  • Tom doesn’t pay the electric bill. He’s ready to leave.
  • Jim breaks Laura’s unicorn and tells her he’s engaged.
  • Amanda loses her hope that Laura’s future will be secured both socially and financially.

Rising Action


Falling Action

Crisis: Jim comes over for 2dinner and is introduced to Laura. She faints at the dinning table. He kisses her.

  • Amanda asks Tom to find her a caller from work. He invites Jim O’Connor over to dinner.
  • Laure gives the broken unicorn to Jim.

Initial Action

  • Amanda accuses Tom of fooling her and Laura. As usual, they fight dreadfully.
  • Tom brings up his tediousness at the shoe company.
  • Amanda finds out that Laura dropped out of school. She becomes obsessed to find a caller for her daughter.

Tom leaves his family, but is unable to cut his emotional attachment to Laura.

  • Laura has no gentlemen callers. She speaks about Jim to Amanda.
  • Tom rises from the dinning table.



  • Physical setting: The Wingfield apartment in St. Louis.
  • Temporal setting: the present and the 1930s.
  • Characters: Tom Wingfield (protagonist), Amanda Wingfield (Tom's mother), Laura Wingfield (Tom's sister), Jim O’Connor (gentleman caller)
  • Background: The Great Depression in the U.S. (labor crisis, a dissolving economy), and The Revolution in Spain (the massacre of Guernica)
the historian
The Historian

S.1: Biography


1911 - 1983

the historian5
Mother: Edwina Williams

aggressive, obsessed with Southern living, spoiled, loving but smothering woman. 

Father: Cornelius Williams

shoe salesman, emotionally absent, abusive, and distant. 

Sister: Rose

emotional and mental imbalance, emotionally disturbed, had a lobotomy in 1936. 

Brother: Dakin

was repeatedly favored over older siblings.

Mother: Amanda Wingfield

her life is paranoia, her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel, there’s as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at.

Father: Mr. Wingfield

remains nameless, abandoned his family. 

Sister: Laura Wingfield

failed to establish contact with reality, crippled, fragile: considered part of her own glass collection, and has deteriorated mental health. 

Brother: N/A

perhaps bitter about Dakin and Cornelius’s relationship.

The Historian

S.1: Biography Continued

Williams Vs. Wingfields

the historian6
The Historian

S.2: Time Period


- Worldwide economic downturn

- 1929 - 1930s

- Originated in the United States

- Historians most often use as a starting date the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday.

the historian7
The Historian

S.3: Media Incarnations

Media Incarnations

the stylist
S.1: Writing StyleThe Stylist
  • - Writing style classified as Modified Realism & Southern Gothic
  • - Tennessee’s protagonists are out of tune with accepted norms, generally use something like drugs, alcohol, sex-to escape an unfriendly present or recover a dead past
  • - Tennessee's plays use Aristotelian terminology
  • - Never dull/emotional
  • - Protagonists are usually lonely dreamers
  • -Memory play
  • 3 part structure
  • character experiences something profound, time loops upon itself, character relives profound experience and makes sense of it
the stylist9
The Stylist

S.2: Stylistic Elements

  • Symbols in the play:
    • Glass: Laura’s Glass Menagerie/transparent to society
    • Fire Escape: Tom’s need for freedom
    • Blue Roses: A happier time and place for Laura in school with Jim
    • Jonquils: a reminder of Amanda’s glorious past
    • Gentlemen caller (Jim)
    • Unicorn: Laura’s uniqueness
    • Scarf: Toms attempt to share his magic and desire for escape with Laura
  • Images on the screen:
    • Pictures set the mood
    • Blue roses when Laura is talking about Jim
    • sailing vessel to showcase Tom’s longing to escape for his life
    • Music as Laura loves to play her fathers old records
    • Amanda as a young girl to show her privileged past
the stylist10
The Stylist

S.3: Literary Devices

  • Connotation
    • scene six page 81 Amanda Wingfield is having a conversation with Jim O’Connor where she is trying to impress him with her Southern accent
    • she says: “fo this time of year,” “an light food,” “weather calls fo”and “it takes a while fo’ us to adjust ou’selves”.
  • Foreshadowing
    • “the fire escape is part of what we see-that is, the landing of it and steps descending from it” - Tom as narrator, gives a sense that Tom wants to escape from where he lives
  • Simile
    • ”Mother, when you’re disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus’ mother in the museum “ – Laura
  • Hyperbole – exaggeration
    • ”Not one gentleman caller? It can’t be true! There must be a flood, there must be a tornado!” – Amanda
  • Exposition and Metaphor
    • Shows they have limited financial income and compares home and kids to nest and birds”Late that winter and in early spring-realizing that extra money would needed to properly feather the nest and plume the bird-she conducted a vigorous campaign on the telephone” (S3.P37)
the stylist11
The Stylist

S.4: Passages

  • “TOM: Listen! You think I’m crazy about the warehouse? …” scene three pg 41
  • This passage portrays Tennessee William’s writing style because he writes about characters who are conflicted /confused/not happy with his life
  • He gave American theatergoers unforgettable characters, an incredible vision of life in the South, and a series of powerful portraits of the human condition. He was deeply interested in something he called "poetic realism," namely the use of everyday objects which, seen repeatedly and in the right contexts, become imbued with symbolic meaning.
comparison to hamlet
Comparison to Hamlet


The Glass Menagerie