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Book Review4 of 5 stars to The Glass Menagerie, written in 1945 by Tennessee Williams The play is told from the perspective of Tom, the son of Amanda and brother of Laura, three members of the Wingfield family living in Missouri in the 1930s Amanda s husband, the and kids father, left years ago and has not been heard from Both Laura and Tom are in their early twenties Amanda wants to marry off her daughter, convincing Tom to bring home a friend from work to create a set up It fails, as he s already involved with another girl, and the story ends basically where it begins It s a powerful tale about the relationships between parents and children and siblings It s about women s rights and their place in a 1930s world It s about fighting versus talking It s about dating versus falling in love It s about poverty and money The story has a lot of mini arcs, all about the different parts of their lives who did what, where, when, how and why It s a good read, especially as a play and has been produced in probably every high school across the country What I liked about it was the harsh and raw reality of life for some people, especially young girls who needed to be married off it s a classic and should be read by all especially if you know a little bit about Tennessee Williams and his own thoughts and actions in the worldAbout MeFor those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by Note All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them Many thanks to their original creators polldaddy poll 9729544 FREE DOWNLOAD ♭ The Glass Menagerie ⚒ No Play In The Modern Theatre Has So Captured The Imagination And Heart Of The American Public As Tennessee Williams S The Glass Menagerie As Williams S First Popular Success, It Launched The Brilliant, If Somewhat Controversial, Career, Of Our Pre Eminent Lyric Playwright Since Its Premiere In Chicago In , With The Legendary Laurette Taylor In The Role Of Amanda, Menagaerie Has Been The Bravura Piece For Great Actresses From Jessica Tandy To Joanne Woodward, And Is Studied And Performed In Classrooms And Theatres Around The World The Glass Menagerie In The Reading Text The Author Preferred Is Now Available Only In Its New Directions Paperbook Edition A New Introduction By The Editor Of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, Robert Bray, Reappraises The Play Than Half A Century After It Won The New York Drama Critics Circle Award This Edition Of The Glass Menagerie Also Includes Williams S Essay On The Impact Of Sudden Fame On A Struggling Writer, The Catastrophe Of Success, As Well As A Short Section Of Williams S Own Production Notes Back Cover The Glass Menagerie is a great domestic tragedy with three very distinctive characters the strong, proud Amanda, the weak and innocent Laura, and the realistic dreamer, Tom One finds in this play an elegiac portrait of misery, rather than a scalding enactment of taboo There is no one tragic event here, but a general condition of pathos Instead of a classic conflict, The Glass Managerie depicts a lack of cooperation We find in the Wingfield home no crime, but a chronic, aching social and economic woe This archetypal modern family, the single parent, broken home, implodes under its own grief and slow moving, yet inexorable catastrophe The reader audience has an impending sense that the situation can never improve nor the relationships grow There is no break in the clouds, no sun on the horizon These characters are locked into their fates Any recognition, peripatea, must inevitably lead not to hope and acceptance, but abandonment and dissolution If tragedy always documents a change, the only changes that can occur in The Glass Menagerie are hard wired and inevitable the escape of the son imitating the absent father , the insitutionalization of the mentally ill sister, and the death of the aging and increasingly delusional mother This pervading and gnawing sense of the Wingfields doom counters Mother Amanda s brave and delusional hopes and optimism Perhaps this collision of Amanda s futile optimism and displaced gentility with the family s sordid present constitutes the primary conflict in the play I always admired The Glass Menagerie because it reinvented the tragic form for the modern condition and sensibility This is the no fault tragedy for a random, no fault universe There is no nemesis here and no unadulterated protagonist, unless Amanda, the matriarch, qualifies as one Amanda is the one character who, like her or not, propels the family forward toward its reckoning When she schemes to snare a beau for her disabled daughter, Amanda can seem desperate and disingenous to the point of being annoying But as she makes her unsolicited telephone solicitations, using her southern belle gift for conversation, one aches for her and recognizes how courageous and determined she truly is.The final message of the memory play, although never stated, is that there is a price for Amanda s brand of optimism Living in one s dreams can be dangerous Like all perishable things, optimism can rot Hope degrades to delusion and bitterness Denial of reality ultimately is a death factor like denial of air.Glass Menagerie reads very well It also can play well I have seen it with different actors, including Jessica Lange, who seemed a bit too young and sexual to play Amanda It is a difficult play to stage, demanding great concentration and energy Ultimately it demands from actors and director a fidelity to the spirit of the play it cannot withstand gimmickry In fact, a beautiful set and great production values defeat this play. Oh Laura Poor damaged Laura If there has ever been a sensitive and poignant portrayal of mental illness than Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, I have yet to come across it Laura breaks my heart It is impossible not to love her and want to shelter her from the world.She is a unicorn among horses A blue rose among the weeds A shattered rainbow.Twice in the text Williams refers to her fragile, unearthly prettiness 51, 67 The stage light that shines upon her has a peculiar pristine clarity such as light used in early religious portraits of female saints or madonnas xxi xxii Laura was not made for this world When her mother takes her to the Young People s League at church, she speaks to no one and no one speaks to her When her mother enrolls her in business college, she becomes so nervous that she throws up on the floor When the gentleman caller visits, she nearly faints from fright Amanda worries that Laura just drifts along doing nothing 34 Tom observes that she s terribly shy and lives in a world of her own 47 48 And they are right Laura lives in a world of Victrola music and glass animals She seems to have no awareness of the peril of her situation It has been six years since high school When Jim asks her what she has been doing since then, she tells him that her glass collection takes up a lot of time When her mother finds out she hasn t been going to business college, she explains that she has been walking in the park and visiting the penguins in the zoo.Laura is based on Williams sister Rose The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, and as Tom says in the opening monologue, I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion 4 Poor Rose was subjected to a prefrontal lobotomy as a so called treatment for her schizophrenia Williams never forgot her He visited her in the institution and provided for her care for the rest of her life.Our society no longer commits this barbaric violence against the mentally ill, but mental illness is still misunderstood and the mentally ill are still stigmatized When Amanda becomes exasperated, she says to Laura I m sick, too of your nonsense Why can t you and your brother be normal people Fantastic whims and behavior 57 Amanda loves her daughter, but she doesn t understand her Tom has a better understanding of his sister because he is not quite normal either He can function in the outside world, but his dreams of adventure, his literary aspirations, his poetic soul, set him apart from the other men at the warehouse If not for his acquaintance with Jim from high school, he would still be an outsider there, someone viewed with suspicious hostility 50 Instead, thanks to Jim s good natured friendliness, he is accepted as one accepts an oddly fashioned dog 51 An improvement but only barely Unlike his sister, however, Tom is well enough to escape And he does He escapes from the coffin, but not without removing a nail Does he feel like Malvolio the Magician Does Williams Tom is not malevolent He is just trapped And for the sake of his own mental health, he must escape Mental illness takes its toll on the family too In the end, what will become of poor Laura Abandoned by her father Abandoned by her gentleman caller And now abandoned by her brother Her little world is as fragile as her glass menagerie One act of clumsiness a swing of a coat, a misstep in a dance, an impulsive kiss is enough to shatter it to bits What will become of her in a world that was not made for people like her Tom may not know But Williams does The world is not kind to people like her And in its clumsiness, it destroys them Blue roses are beautiful, but they are not of this world. Perhaps this talks to me about my life than other Williams masterpieces do I don t know, but reading through the whole gentleman caller preparations made my very soul shiver The author has split his personality, and you have Amanda, Laura, Tom and Jim somehow unifying to reflect themselves both the unit and the broken pieces, the ashes of glass that are the reader at least in my case.A thing of beauty in Williams hands will always bleed straight from the heart His symbols, states of mind, moods, the delicate tragedy which he makes out of the world s cruelest instances, even the failure that lies behind a successful tale of survival connotations, all hit too close to home I don t think Williams is for everyone, and yet, apart from The Glass Menagerie s most singular traits of storytelling, here is an artist altogether aware of his tools to the point of elaborating a rather brilliant self commentary on the way fiction works including how it can turn to be a revenge of sorts against suffering.I absolutely love, adore, the climaxing scene where Laura s dream suddenly begins to be fulfilled only to end up crashing in a nightmare of depressive realisation Miraculous just about describes the God given insight that allowed Williams to get to know the precise events and feelings and reactions, and consequences, which drove my life to deadly stillness before a heavenly awakening that prevented me from falling into everlasting oblivion Amanda is the promising past not unlike Blanche would soon be , and Tom is the delusive present however, Laura rests on that sofa or sits on this floor, holding her pet glass unicorn, in a place out of any chronological consideration a real life reject left behind in her own niche to shine, a prematurely withered moth, because the light was out. Dec a Virginie Despentes en su impresionante Vernon Subutex queSomos inquilinos de las situaciones, nunca propietarios , y todos sabemos lo dif cil que puede ser hacer frente a las condiciones que se nos impone en el contrato de alquiler Este es el caso de los personajes de El zoo de cristal, personas que se sobreponen a la poca fortuna que les ha reservado el destino haciendo lo que pueden El drama es que lo que pueden queda lejos de ser suficiente o incluso aceptable por ellos mismos Amanda hace muchos a os que ya no es la popular princesita sure a rodeada de apuestos pretendientes que fue o que cree haber sido Ahora vive una existencia vulgar en su vulgar piso, abandonada por su marido y volcada en sus dos hijos que, pese a sus continuas manipulaciones, no pueden recompensar a su madre por tantas ilusiones rotas Laura, simplemente, es incapaz de vivir La cojera que sufre desde ni a ha sido un factor determinante en su alejamiento del mundo al que ha sustituido por la colecci n de peque as figuritas de cristal que cuida obsesivamente y que son s mbolo de su fragilidad En una conmovedora escena que comparte con un posible pretendiente que su hermano ha llevado a casa instigado por su madre y por sus ganas de buscar una salida a su propia situaci n, Williams nos hace tr gicamente conscientes de lo distinta que podr a haber sido su vida en otras circunstancias Tom, el hijo mayor de Amanda, es el narrador, el que vuelve a ese sitio y a ese momento de su vida en el que se decidi su destino, en el que se entabl la lucha interna entre ir tras sus sue os o quedarse y hacer frente a sus responsabilidadesQui n demonios es capaz de salir de un ata d sin quitar un solo clavoUno de esos dilemas vitales en los que, a poca conciencia que se tenga, siempre se pierde, da igual el camino que finalmente se elija, uno se siente abocado a no ser Mala suerte, amigoEres el nico joven de los que conozco que ignora que el futuro se convierte en el presente, el presente en el pasado y el pasado es un remordimiento eterno si uno no hace planes con antelaci nAunque el teatro es escrito con el fin de ser representado, cuando nos encontramos con obras como esta uno no puede sino rendirse a su fuerza, a tal demostraci n de talento, y sentir como su mente se convierte en ese escenario por el que, sin mucha dificultad, Tennesse Williams extender ante nosotros un trocito de la vida de unas personas que se debaten entre lo que desean y lo que el destino les permite alcanzar. I am completely blown away The Glass Menagerie is a perfect mirror of the dysfunctional American family An overbearing, yet well intentioned mother abandoned by her lover A son filled with Hollywood style dreams of adventure but living a life of monotonous toil A defective daughter who has little interest in anything, besides the glass animals she collects week and frail as herself.The way Tennessee Williams pits all of these characters against each other, and how all of their desires come together and blow up in flames is simply perfect It starts slow, but for a play so short, it doesn t even matter Once it gets going, holy cow. The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie is a memory play by Tennessee Williams that premiered in 1944 and catapulted Williams from obscurity to fame The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on its author, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Laura In writing the play, Williams drew on an earlier short story, as well as a screenplay he had written under the title of The Gentleman Caller 2000 1378 145 964921397 1383 964960023 20 1381 112 9647487010 1382 1383 1387 1392 1386 160 9647640307 1389 9789647640305 1390 1395 158 1395 96 9786004360425 Reread for class 2017Still a great play I originally read this 5 or 6 years ago for my high school English class and it is so interesting now getting a new perspective in a university class.