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The Glass Menagerie By: Tennessee Williams. By: Jack, Donald, and Demi. Author Bio.

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author bio
Author Bio

Thomas Lanier Williams was born March 26th,1911 in Columbus, Mississippi. Even as a young boy, Williams struggled greatly with his sexuality. His young sister Rose, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at a young age. After a failed Lobotomy, his sister was left incapacitated for life. This drastically effected Williams and the rest of his life. Thomas later turns to alcoholism and drug abuse that he suffered from for the rest of his life. Shortly after moving to Louisiana in 1939, Thomas changed his first name to Tennessee. As the years went by, Tennessee Williams.

author bio continued
Author Bio Continued.

In 1945, his famous play, “The Glass Menagerie”, was performed on Broadway which earned him a major nationwide audience. Williams died on February 25th, 1983 at just the age of 71 in New York City. Drugs and Alcohol were contributed to be a part of his death when he choked on an eye drop bottle cap.

basic info
Basic Info
  • The play was first performed on Broadway in Chicago in 1944.
  • It was awarded the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award the following year.
  • There were also two movie versions produced in 1950 and 1987.
  • The publisher of the play novel was “Random House”.
  • The play was heavily influenced by William’s early life.
  • The genre of the play was tragedy and family drama.
  • The play was based on events that occurred in the winter and spring of 1937-38.
  • The main setting was in an apartment in St. Louis.
literary elements
Literary elements
  • Jack: Tone- The play is narrated by an older Tom looking back at his past. He feels guilty about abandoning Laura. Therefore the tone of most of the scenes is guilt and remorse. Throughout the play there is also a sense of isolation and hopelessness.
  • Donald: Setting-Nearly the whole story takes place in the family's apartment. With the exception of when Toms narrating from the fire escape. I think this is so that the audience can understand Toms feeling of isolation and the fire escape is Toms escape from his family.
  • Demi: Symbolism- The glass menagerie like Laura is very fragile and delicate.
characters
Characters
  • Amanda Wingfield: Was abandoned by her husband and is a controlling mother that is trying to find a suitable man for her daughter.
  • Laura Wingfield: Has an unstable mental condition and is also partly crippled.
  • Tom Wingfield: Supports his mother and sister by working at a show warehouse. Tom feels taken advantage of, but feels obligated to provide financial needs.
  • Jim O’ Connor: A co-worker of Tom, Jim and Amanda were good friends in high school. The intention of Jim’s invitation, was to become Laura’s gentleman caller.
plot overview act 1
Plot Overview Act 1

In this first act, Tom is introduced to the crowd in a Merchant Marine uniform and gives a brief description on what is happening currently. He then goes back to his family’s small little apartment and sits down to eat dinner with his mother Amanda, and his sister Laura. Amanda begins to discuss the gentlemen callers that herself and Laura have been looking in too. Amanda wants to find her daughter a man with money to get married off to.

plot overview act 2
Plot Overview Act 2
  • As this scene unfolds, it captivates Laura sitting in her room polishing her glass figurines when her mother walks in. Laura tries to cover it up with a keyboard diagram but it did not trick Amanda. Amanda ripped up her diagram and told Laura that she found out about her skipping school everyday. Amanda explained to Laura that her career in business was ruined and now all they could do was find her a suitable gentleman caller.
plot overview act 3
Plot Overview Act 3

Amanda becomes obsessed with Laura finding a decent man to marry. In order to gain more money, Amanda runs a telephone subscription campaign for a local magazine. Tom finds out that his mother threw out his D.H. Laurence novel. Amanda thrashed back an said, “I will not allow that filth in my house!” But Tom declares he pays the rent and attempts to leave the apartment. Amanda questions were he goes all night and Tom responds back by saying, “out to the movies.”

plot overview act 4
Plot Overview Act 4

Tom returns back to the apartment very early that next morning completely drunk. Amanda questions his night and he tells her that he went to the movies and saw a magic show. They both go to bed and Amanda is furious t her son. She makes Laura wake him the next morning because she can not even bear to look at his face.

plot overview act 5
Plot Overview Act 5
  • It is now the spring of 1938 and Tom announces to the family that he has found a suitable man to bring home for Laura. The man’s name is Jim O’ Connor and he makes $85 a month. Amanda is both thrilled and irritated because she feels overwhelmed with all the preparing she has to do. Tom and Amanda argue that Laura might not get Jim’s attention because she is “crippled” and “peculiar.” Tom storms out of the apartment in frustration while Amanda pleads where he was off to now? He responded quickly saying, “movies.”
plot overview act 6
Plot Overview Act 6

As the scene begins, the camera pans over the dining room which showed how much effort and time Amanda put into making everything perfect. She does finishing touches to Laura’s gown and tries to relieve her nervousness because Laura realized it was the same Jim that she had a crush on in high school. When the doorbell rang, Laura was forced to answer the door to meet her dinner date. Tom gets Jim’s attention and talks to him of his future career. Amanda asks Tom to go get Laura for dinner and returns to the table that she was ill and not hungry.

plot overview act 7
Plot Overview Act 7
  • While Tom and Amanda began cleaning up dinner, she sends Jim with a bottle of wine over to the couch with Laura. Jim and Laura began talking and comfortable with each other. Laura shows Jim her favorite glass figurine that was a unicorn. Jim heard music coming from across the alley and asked Laura if she would dance with him. Laura accepted and they began to waltz around the living room. Jim accidently knocked over the unicorn breaking off the horn. Laura is unfazed as Jim kisses her softly on the lips.
plot overview act 7 count
Plot Overview Act 7 Count.
  • He then sits Laura down and apologizes for his actions because he was already currently engaged to an Irish women named Betty. He thanked them for dinner and left the apartment in awkwardness. Then Amanda turned to Tom and yelled accusing him of playing a joke on them. Tom said he had no idea of this other lady and stormed off to the movies in anger and frustration.
reference page
Reference Page
  • Beniot, James H. "The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams." Summary Central. Jalic Inc., 12 Apr. 2006. Web. 03 Jan. 2011. <http://summarycentral.tripod.com/theglassmenagerie.htm>.
  • Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions, 1999. Print.
  • Williams, Tennessee L. "Act 7." The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions, 1999. 93-97. Print.
work page
Work Page
  • Jack: Plot Overview slides.
  • Donald: Biography, Basic info, assisted in plot overview sides.
  • Demi: Characters and helped organize play.
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