K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
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Sep 04, 10

Read on August 29, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Early this month, my 15-y/o daughter, Jillian. who is studying in an all-girls school, asked me to write a monologue for the 7-y/o Noli Me Tangere character, Crispin. Each of them in the class was given a character in the novel with the objective of introducing all the characters to the class.

I used to write drama scripts in high school (Alamat ni Mariang Makiling) and college (The Silent Mourner) but those were a 2-3 decades ago. So, to help out, I read that chapter in Noli and wrote one. Jillian delivered it and got perfect score. She even had a small certificate signed by her teacher. Here is her picture delivering that dramatic moment in my monologue:

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So far, this picture got 90 likes in her Facebook account! The scene above is when Crispin, hungy, worried that her mother would believe that he is a thief, is about to be dragged by the sacristan to be killed.

Yesterday, I saw this thin Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie book being sold at P40 (less than US$1). I heard about Tennessee Williams because I saw and like the film adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire. But I did not have any idea about The Glass Menagerie. So, since Jillian will have El Filibusterismo next year and she is becoming popular in school because of her monologue, I might as well brush up with my scriptwriting skills ha-ha!

I liked The Glass Menagerie so much that I could picture myself sitting in the theatre and watching the play. I am not a theatre person. All my life, I only saw Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Miss Saigon during its Hong Kong leg and Mel Brook's The Producers during my first visit in Columbus, Ohio in 2004. Other that these, I find watching plays expensive and too classy for my simple taste.

The story is about 4 characters: Amanda (the mother), Laura (the crippled daughter who is too shy to attract suitors), Tom (the son working in a warehouse but dreaming to join the navy) and Jim (Tom's bestfriend who Amanda and Tom thought could be Laura's husband). Amanda's husband, the father of Laura and Tom, abandoned them when the two were still young. Tom is the only one working so he has to support the 3 of them. Laura left her typewriting class because she is bothered by her deformity (one of her legs is shorter than the other) so she wears a brace and it creates click-clang sound when she walks. Amanda wishes to find a husband for Laura because both ladies know that Tom is unhappy with his job and will leave them soon. Just like Amanda's husband who left them several years ago.

Oh, how cool I thought it would be if I could see how the script is actually executed especially the "screen images" and "screen legends". The dialogues are also crisp and witty. One that I could relate and put a smile on my face while reading this morning is the part below when Amanda is interrogating Tom about his frequent movie-watching. Remember that Tom is bored with his work in the warehouse and wants to join the navy:

AMANDA: but, why-why, Tom - are you always so restless? Where do you go to, nights?
TOM: I - go to the movies.
AMANDA: Why do you go to the movies so much, Tom?
TOM: I go to the movies because - I like adventure. Adventure is something I don't have much of at work, so I go to the movies.
AMANDA: But, Tom, you go to the movies entirely too much!
TOM: I like a lot of adventure.

Reason why I smiled while reading the above? Just replace "go to the movies" with "read a book" and that's me, the bookworm, instead of Tom. And my wife becomes Amanda!

Readers use an awful lot of imagination when they read novels as well as drama scripts, don't they?

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Reading Progress

08/29/2010 page 133
92.0%

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly But why, why are you so restless?

Emir Gamis nga pala is doing very well in the ongoing international chess tournament here, the Campomanes Cup.


K.D. Absolutely Good question. I think it is because I have 1,000 books in my possession still to be read. When will I have time for all those?
That's why Emir has not been ticking YES in any of my reviews ha-ha.


message 3: by Jinky (new)

Jinky Your daughter looks like she really nailed that scene... such bold emotion! What a proud daddy you must be.

The end of your review made me smile ...I can relate to reading books for adventures. --I'll have to put this book in my tbr pile.

Sweet review...thank you.


K.D. Absolutely Thanks, Jinky.


message 5: by jzhunagev (new)

jzhunagev Wow, didn't know that you have monologue writing chops!
Well, you write pretty good reviews eh. So that's no surprise.
And here I am, the Game Master that I am, thinking of a game about a book character with their famous lines that got to be acted by someone while the competitors guess who that character is. Sounds good a game for one of em meet up, eh Kuya Doni?

Ehehehe... (--,)
Regarding Atty. Joselito's comment: Ahh, kaya pala parang MIA si Emir for these past days.
Good luck Emir! ^_^


message 6: by Emir Never (new)

Emir Never Di ko sana ila-like kaso napag-usapan ako sa comment thread kaya... :D

Fan mo ako eh, LIKE!


message 7: by Emir Never (new)

Emir Never And Jillian, congrats!


message 8: by Tina (new)

Tina I remember reading the Cliff's Notes (or at least something similar to that) version of this when I was young for my brother's paper. I remember the story vaguely, but I can't remember if I liked it or not. Haha. :P

I also used to write scripts in high school - I wrote most of the scripts from Ibong Adarna to El Fili. Then in college we had a scriptwriting part for our video class and my script exceeded the maximum 10 pages. Excited much? I remember there's also a 30-day script writing thing that is the sister of National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy. I've never been crazy enough to try that, though. :)

And I love musicals. Well, I love the ones I watch, but I'm not a theater buff. I just like watching them every now and then (tickets are expensive) to feel a bit refined. Plus live acting always beats movies, at least for me.

Ang dami ko sinabi, but what I really want to say in the end here is, great review as usual, Kuya Doni! :) And congrats to Jillian! I know the feeling of having to act in front of class -- I'm sure sure was loads better than I was, though! :)


message 9: by K.D. (last edited Sep 06, 2010 12:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely Thanks for liking this review, Tina.
The book is my first drama. I liked the movie A Streetcar Named Desire and I still have an original DVD of that. So, when I saw Tennessee Williams as the author, thin (96 pages) and only for P40, I did not have a second thought, I bought it and read one Sunday afternoon. It was fantastic. It was like being in the theatre watching an actual play. Or maybe it is just my imagination.

At some point, it is harder to write (I think) a drama script rather than a novel. Because with a script, you have to think of the stage.

Like you, I love seeing plays but it is a lot more expensive than movies. And yes, it gives you a feeling of being "cultured" People normally dress up when they go to a play or a show. Well, they are rich people anyway so they always dress up when they go out ha ha.

Thanks, I will tell Jillian mamaya that you send her your congratulations. She is good in acting. Di ko alam saan nagmana! But her love for reading? Definitely mine! ha ha


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