The Glass Menagerie

Definition

Theater

  • Tennessee Williams's first successful play, producedin 1945 in New York. This semi-autobiographical work, described byWilliams himself as a "memory play", won a New York DramaCritics' circle Award; its language prompted the critic Stark Youngto write: "Behind the Southern speech in the mother's part isthe echo of great literature...It has the echo and the musicof it." The role of Amanda, the emotionally fragile mother,provided the US actress Laurette Taylor (1884 - 1946) with herlast major part.

    The story, about the emotional tensions within an isolatedSouthern family, reflects Williams's own relationship with his motherand sister. The main characters are Amanda Wingfield, her grown sonTom, and her shy disabled daughter, Laura. The mother's chief missionin life is to see Laura marry well, but this pressure is driving thesensitive girl insane. Laura finally breaks down completely when hermother asks Tom to bring home a fellow employee, whom she pushes atLaura.

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