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The Glass Menagerie

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  115,444 ratings  ·  2,629 reviews
No play in the modern theater 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 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, Me ...more
Paperback, Reset Edition, 104 pages
Published June 17th 1999 by New Directions (first published 1945)
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Arctander Alexander It’s a play, but in many ways it reads like a novel because of Williams use of poetic prose in his scene and character descriptions.

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Ahmad Sharabiani
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.

The play is introduced to the audience
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Over the course of the last month I have read the classic plays of Tennessee Williams. Williams' first successful play, The Glass Menagerie initially opened in Chicago in the spring of 1944 and then moved to New York three months later. What he dubs a memory play, The Glass Menagerie focuses on a family much like Williams' own family, and hones in on the human emotions that allow a family to function. Containing seven scenes all in one location and four characters, The Glass Menagerie is powerfu ...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
*Reread for class 2017
Still 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.
Susan Budd
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh Laura. Poor damaged Laura. If there has ever been a more 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 pri
Eric Jay Sonnenschein
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 eco ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
Book Review
4 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 fa
Christian Doig
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: outcasts, dreamers, anyone who has ever felt different
Shelves: plays
Perhaps this talks to me more 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
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
“Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion”—Tom Winfield, The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie is the play that made its playwright Tennessee Williams famous, his first big hit in a career of wonderful accomplishments, probably one of his two or three best plays. I taught it a few times, saw it a few times, saw both film ad
Brian Yahn
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
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
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: savage night at the movies
Recommended to Mariel by: I was a late bloomer I moved in flourishes
The Glass Menagerie is a weird one for me. There's a better word for it than weird. I'm a crap writer though. I'll leave it at that. There's no thesaurus/mindreader thing for what I'm feeling.
There are stories that we know every word of before we've ever read, seen or heard them. The Glass Menagerie is one of those for me. We'd act out scenes and make references like we actually knew what we were talking about. (My mom especially loved the "rise and shine" routine.) Remember that scene in Joe Ve
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

The faded belle-turned-nagging mother, the unmarried sister, and the angry young man—today a cast such as this is likely seen as the quintessence of drama from the ages past. And yet, what Tennessee Williams did in The Glass Menagerie was anything but typical: he projected poetry onto an ever-prosaic stage, replacing a stiff, sterile realism with the evocative surrealism of a plastic theatre that attended to inward turmoil just as much as the social reality it took root alongside.

Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, readalongs
“The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”

I really enjoyed this play, a lot more than I thought I would. It's a very short play but it managed to elicit all sorts of feelings from me,especially pity, mainly because the characters all carried some sort of burden or regret. There's the pushy, aba
K.D. Absolutely
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. Jill
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A modern play, to me, about disillusionment. Main characters include Amanda (delusional, childish, dependent, desparate mother), Laura (inhibited, painfully shy daughter), Tom (restless, dreamer, poet, narrator/son), Jim (optimistic, hopeful, gentleman caller). A play about misdirected dreams and ambitions. Amanda places her dreams in her children. Tom places his dreams in adventure and traveling the world like his absentee father. Laura places her dreams of happiness in her glass menagerie coll ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A lot of the literature I've read for school this year has disappointed me. It's great that we got to read and watch The Glass Menagerie as part of my AP Lit class, because I reclaimed my title as extremely obsessive fanboy extraordinaire.

There's just so much to love in this play. Williams' writing is exquisite and his utilization of symbols leaves myriad room for analysis. His deep and damaged characters call for discussion: Amanda Wingfield, the ambitious and heady mother of Laura and Tom, Lau
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Blow out your candles, Laura." An American theatre classic. Even on the printed page it's a killer.
Mary Kaimatzoglou
<<Άλλο να'σαι απογοητευμένος κι άλλο να'σαι αποθαρρημένος>>...<<Αυτό που περιμένουμε να'ρθει,αυτό είναι που μας κρατάει στη ζωή...>>
What is it with the Scottish school syllabus, that it's so obsessed with early twentieth century American playwrights? This is the second Tennessee Williams I've had to teach this year - and not so much as a Shakespeare to be seen. The Scots playwrights don't fare any better - there's a ton of Scottish poetry on the syllabus, but even for Liz Lochhead the poetry's all we get.

Anyway, my copy of The Glass Menagerie has a favourable quote from Arthur Miller on the back, which I think falls under th
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Read this for class and I really liked it! So much symbolism!
Amy Layton
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
I'm not quite sure what to think of this play.  I've been sitting at my desk for quite a few minutes, head in hands, trying to think of what I might be able to say.  I liked this.  A lot.  So much, even, that when it comes to my area, I should very much like to see it.  After all, plays are meant for the stage.  

I'm giving this a four, because I feel like I'm missing something, and I'm not quite sure if that's the point.  It's a memory play, and memories are often missing something, but still ha
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, classics, 2018
Thoughtful, entrancing, achingly sad. Worth reading the script even if you’ve already seen the play live (I have not) because the detail in Williams’ stage directions is so vivid.
نیلوفر رحمانیان
I really enjoyed reading this one. Im a fan of details and this one had a ton of them, it mentioned the american hostorical background without really mentioning it. But one could see how it is years after civil war and southerns have lost their slaved and their aristocracy. Society is getting industrialized , the way of life has been changed and the binary btw city/urban life is shown by the Toms wish to become a sailor. Everyone should become something, do sth, leisure is no more praised, art i ...more
The Glass Menagerie is a short, classic American play from the 1940’s. I have vague memories of reading this in school, but I didn’t remember anything about it, not even whether or not I liked it.

It’s difficult to explain much about the story without spoiling it since it’s so short. The majority of the play has only three characters: Amanda (the mother), Laura (her daughter), and Tom (her son). Tom also serves as a narrator to provide some context for the story. The father abandoned his family a
Francesca Calarco
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do you have family members with bizarre and/or awkward quirks? Have you, or someone you know, endured trauma that makes it painfully difficult to connect with other people? Do you feel emotionally isolated or restless to the point of having a hard time dealing with reality? Do you feel like your issues impede your ability to support your family? Well, if you have answered “yes” to one or more these, then Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is the play for you!

I first read this play when I wa
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tennessee Williams proclaims THE GLASS MENAGERIE "the saddest play I have ever written. It is full of pain. It's painful for me to see it."

The dysfunctional family portrayed in this drama brought back memories of Williams' own unhappy life while living in St. Louis. It is a story about a mother deserted by her husband long ago, still living in the youth of her past, who is constantly worried about her grown son's nightlife and job stability as well as her terribly shy and slightly "crippled" dau

Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-long-ago
One of my favorite plays. I remember talking about it with a friend in high school, where we realized that from his perspective the play was about Tom, and from my perspective the play was about Laura. I guess it just depends who you are and where you are at in life.

(I'm surprised I've never marked this as read before, and now I'll go off on a play spree.)

"Being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They're one hundred times one thousand. You'
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: play
4 stars - but somethings are unrateable. Tennessee Williams to me is special. I find his work deeply moving. And while reading a play is moving, seeing it is an entirely different experience. I remember seeing both this play and the movie, and it is unforgettable. I also have the experience, after taking a Tennessee Williams class in college, or maybe it wasn't a class, maybe just somehow it was incorporated in American Dramatic Theater - I remember feeling the compelling need to read or see eve ...more
Connie G
This memory play, narrated by an older Tom Windfield, is a look back at events when he was a young adult. Tom's father was "a telephone man who fell in love with long distance" and walked away from his family years ago. His overbearing mother was left to raise their two children. Amanda lives in her memories of being a pampered Southern belle. She does not have the skills needed in the modern world. Amanda worries about her daughter, Laura, who has a limp and is painfully insecure. Laura retreat ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!!! I forgot just how great this short classic was!
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Glass Menagerie propelled Tennessee Williams into success as a playwright when it was first performed in 1944. It has been made into movies. It has been analyzed by critics. To this day it is still performed. Why is it so popular? It is a family drama of tensions and alienation. To escape their demons, the family faces abandonment, sacrifices, confinement, and misunderstandings. It is a reflection of Tennessee’s family, where his troubled sister underwent a prefrontal lobotomy.

The son, Tom
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth.

Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, after years of obscurity, at age 33 he became famous with the success of

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