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THE GLASS MENAGERIE. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS. BACKGROUND. Tennessee Williams born Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911, Mississippi Very close to his sister Rose who suffered from mental illness and had a lobotomy which altered her psychology permanently

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the glass menagerie

THE GLASS MENAGERIE

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

background
BACKGROUND
  • Tennessee Williams born Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911, Mississippi
  • Very close to his sister Rose who suffered from mental illness and had a lobotomy which altered her psychology permanently
  • He wrote to escape from his mundane existence as a clerk with a shoe company
  • There are autobiographical parallels in the play The Glass Menagerie
characters
CHARACTERS
  • Laura Wingfield- She is the crippled and very shy daughter of Amanda who wants her to find a husband
  • Tom Wingfield– Son of Amanda; also pressed by his mother to find Laura a gentleman caller, and to keep the job at the shoe factory to support the family.
  • Amanda Wingfield- Mother of Tom and Laura and often digresses back to memories of her former days on the southern plantation farm and her “glory days”
  • Jim O’Conner - He is a friend of Tom from the factory who Tom invites to dinner and Amanda treats as Laura’s first gentleman caller.
minor characters
MINOR CHARACTERS

Mr. Wingfield- He is Amanda’s husband who deserted the family about 16 years ago and is only seen in the play as a large photograph hung on the wall, but he is often referred to.

setting
SETTING

1930s St Louis (Great Depression)

The Wingfield house - This takes up most of the stage and the different rooms are separated by curtains.  There is the living room and the kitchen.

The fire escape - This is on the side of the stage and is what the characters use to get into and out of the apartment.

memory play
Memory Play

Tom is narrator and a main character. He tells the story as memory.

Memory is selective- we see the play as Tom remembers his past

The use of music, lighting, and props contributes to Tom’s memory

in your writing s ection
In your Writing Section…

What's the difference between remembering and reminiscing

How is “living in the past” totally different than remembering or reminiscing?

Where do you draw the line? At what point does it become unhealthy (mentally)?