Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Glass Menagerie

Rate this book
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, 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 more 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)

104 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1945

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Tennessee Williams

468 books3,060 followers
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 The Glass Menagerie (1944) in New York City. This play closely reflected his own unhappy family background. It was the first of a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), and The Night of the Iguana (1961). With his later work, he attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences. His drama A Streetcar Named Desire is often numbered on short lists of the finest American plays of the 20th century, alongside Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

Much of Williams' most acclaimed work has been adapted for the cinema. He also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, four years before his death, Williams was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

From Wikipedia

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
32,499 (25%)
4 stars
45,567 (35%)
3 stars
36,563 (28%)
2 stars
11,115 (8%)
1 star
2,960 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,314 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
September 16, 2021
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 by Tom, the narrator and protagonist, as a memory play based on his recollection of his mother Amanda and his sister Laura. Because the play is based on memory, Tom cautions the audience that what they see may not be precisely what happened.

Amanda Wingfield, a faded Southern belle of middle age, shares a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son Tom, in his early twenties, and his slightly older sister, Laura. Although she is a survivor and a pragmatist, Amanda yearns for the comforts and admiration she remembers from her days as a fêted debutante.

She worries especially about the future of her daughter Laura, a young woman with a limp (an after-effect of a bout of pleurosis) and a tremulous insecurity about the outside world.

Tom works in a shoe warehouse doing his best to support the family. He chafes under the banality and boredom of everyday life and struggles to write while spending much of his spare time going to the movies — or so he says — at all hours of the night.

Amanda is obsessed with finding a suitor (or, as she puts it, a "gentleman caller") for Laura, her daughter, whose crippling shyness has led her to drop out of both high school and a subsequent secretarial course, and who spends much of her time polishing and arranging her collection of little glass animals.

Pressured by his mother to help find a caller for Laura, Tom invites Jim, an acquaintance from work, home for dinner. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 2000میلادی

عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: حمید سمندریان؛ تهران، امیرخانی، 1378؛ در 145ص؛ شابک ایکس - 964921397؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نردبام، 1383؛ شابک ایکس - 964960023؛ موضوع نمایشنامه های نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای (نمایشنامه در هفت پرده): نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: مرجان بهت مینو؛ کرج، مینو، 1381؛ در 112ص؛ شابک9647487010؛ چاپ دوم 1382؛ چاپ سوم 1383؛ پنجم 1387؛ ششم 1392؛

عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: خاکسار هرسینی؛ تهران، افراز، 1386؛ در 160ص؛ شابک 9647640307؛ چاپ سوم سال1389؛ شابک 9789647640305؛ چاپ چهارم 1390؛ چاپ هشتم 1395؛ در 158ص؛

عنوان: باغ وحش شیشه ای: نویسنده: تنسی ویلیامز؛ مترجم: مه��ی فروغ؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1395؛ در یازده و 96ص؛ شابک9786004360425؛

تنسی ویلیامز، در تحلیل شخصیت «آماندا»، میگویند: (دوزخ در واقع خودِ آدمی‌ست، و تنها راه رهایی از آن از خود گذشتگی، و مراقبت از دیگران است؛ و در مورد «تام»: زمانی هست که آدم باید برود، حتی اگر مقصدش نامعلوم باشد؛ و در مورد «لورا»: شخصیت‌های ‌شکننده و منزوی که از زندگی هراس دارند، در باطن قوی‌ترین آدم‌ها ‌هستند)؛ پایان نقل

در باغ‌ وحش شیشه‌ ای هیچکس نمی‌بیند؛ همه، گویی در رویا گام برمی‌‌دارند، و تماس خود را با واقعیت تلخ پیرامون، از دست داده اند…؛ حتی «جیم» هم در توهم زندگی می‌‌کند؛ جایی در داستان، جیم می‌‌گوید: «تک‌شاخ‌ها ‌خیلی وقت است که منقرض شده‌ اند»؛ و این است حقیقت خانواده‌ ی «وینگفیلد»، حقیقت «تام»، «آماندا» و «لورا»…؛ آنان منقرض شده‌ اند، در انزوای خود به اغما رفته‌ اند، ‌و در خواب گام برمی‌‌دارند…؛ یکی از سمبل‌های ‌سرشناس نمایشنامه، «پلکان اضطراری» خانه است، که در دنیای واقعی، برای خروج اضطراری، از آن استفاده می‌‌شود؛ اما در دنیای شخصیت‌های ‌«باغ وحش شیشه ای»، این پلکان غالباً به عنوان راه ورودی است! ورود اضطراری! پناه بردن به فضای بیمارگونه‌ ی حاکم بر خانواده، با دل‌خوشی‌های ‌دروغین، و حتی مهیب…؛ گریز از هجوم رویاشکن راستی، و پناه بردن به دنیای خیال است

نقل از آغاز متن: (صحنه ی یک: آپارتمان خانواده ی «وینگ فیلد» را در شروع صحنه میبینیم؛ در عقب صحنه منظره ی ساختمان بزرگی که مثل کندوی عسل که از مجموعه حفره هایی تشکیل شده است دیده میشود؛ این ساختمان یکی از آن بناهایی است که معمولاً در نقاط پر جمعیت اطراف شهرها یعنی جاهایی که قشر فقیر اجتماع زندگی میکنند، مثل قارچ به سرعت رشد میکند، و ساکنین آن قویترین نیروی نهفته ی جامعه ی آمریکا را تشکیل میدهند؛ آنها مثل ماشین کار میکنند، و عمر خود را به پایان میبرند؛ وقتی پرده بالا میرود، دیوار تیره رنگ و بدقواره ی ساختمانی را که در پشت آپارتمان اجاره ای خانواده ی «وینگ فیلد» قرار دارد را میبینیم؛ و در دو طرف آن دو کوچه ی تنگ و تاریک دیده میشود، و در انتهای این دو کوچه محوطه ی مخوف و غم انگیزی وجود دارد، که در آن طنابهای رختشویی، از چپ و راست کشیده شده، بشکه های زباله، و پله های مشبک فرار از آتش، که متعلق به ساختمان مجاور است دیده میشود؛ در آپارتمان خانواده ی «وینگ فیلد»، در قسمت جلو صحنه، اتاق نشیمن را میبینیم که ضمناً اتاق خواب «لورا» هم هست؛ نیمکتی در گوشه ی اتاق قرار دارد، که حکم تختخواب را هم دارد؛ در عقب صحنه، یعنی وسط اتاق، طاقنمای بزرگی وجود دارد، که پرده ای نازک و رنگ و رو رفته، جلو آن آویزان است؛ اتاق غذاخوری در پشت این پرده قرار دارد؛ در این اتاق چندین عروسک و مجسمه ی شیشه ای کهنه و قدیمی دیده میشوند، و یک تابلوی نقاشی کهنه، از صورت پدر خانواده که روی آن نقاشی شده، به دیوار آویزان است، در این تصویر، پدر کلاه پیاده نظام سربازان جنگ جهانی اول را به سر دارد، و صورتش خندان است؛ «تام» در این نمایشنامه راوی داستان است، او با لباس ملوانان کشتیهای تجاری، از کوچه ی سمت چپ آپارتمان داخل میشود، و آرام آرام به جلو صحنه، آنجا که ایوان پله های فرار از آتش، وجود دارد، میایستد و سیگاری روشن میکند، و رو به تماشاچیان شروع به روایت میکند

تام: خانمها و آقایان سلام، میخوام براتون چند چشمه شعبده بازی و نیرنگ نمایش بدم، ولی توجه داشته باشین که من درست برعکس شعبده بازی هستم که توی سیرک نمایش میده، چون که اون مطالب دروغینو براتون به صورت یه حقیقت نمایش میده، ولی من حقیقتو به صورت وهم و خیال درمیآرم.؛

بسیار خوب شروع میکنیم، من الان زمانو به عقب برمیگردونم، برمیگردیم به شرایط بیست سال پیش، که امروزه یه کمی از مد افتاده به نظر میآد؛ موقعیکه طبقه ی عظیم مردم متوسط آمریکا، تو مدرسه ی کورها اسم نوشته بودن، چشاشون نمیدید، یا خودشون نمیخواستن ببینن، فرقی نمیکنه؛ اونا انگشتای خودشونو مثل کورا که روی خط بریل حرکت میدادن، روی مشکلات اقتصادی فشار میدادن؛ توی «اسپانیا» انقلاب شده بود، توی «آمریکا» فقط اختلاف عقیده وجود داشت، و تو «اسپانیا» جنگ و و خونریزی؛ توی «آمریکا» کارگر و کارفرما با هم اختلاف پیدا کرده بودن، و گهگاه تو شهرهایی که معمولاً ساکت بودن، مثل «کلیولاند» و «سنت لوئیس»، کار به جنگ و دعوا کشیده میشد؛ در واقع این بحث اجتماعی این نمایشه (پکی به سیگار میزند، بعد از چند لحظه سکوت ادامه میدهد) آپارتمان خونواده ی ما، در قسمت عقبی یه عمارت خیلی عظیم که مثل کندوی عسل، از یه سری حفره تشکیل شده، قرار داشته؛ این ساختمون یکی از اون عماراتیه که در نقاط پر جمعیت اطراف شهرها و جاهایی که طبقات فقیر جامعه زندگی میکنن، مثل زگیل پهلوی هم دیگه قرار گرفته بودن

ساکنین این ساختمونا قویترین نیروی نهفته ی جامعه شناسی آمریکا رو تشکیل میدادن.؛ اونا آدمکهایی بی اراده و ماشینی هستن که برای اینکه زندگیشون به پایان برسه کار میکنن

آپارتمان ما روبروی یه کوچه ی تنگ و تاریک بود.؛ طنابای رختشویی از چپ و راست داخل کوچه کشیده شده بود.؛ بشکه های زباله و پله های مشبک فرار از آتش

این نمایش یه خاطره اس، خاطره ی من، تام وینگ فیلد، نمایشی است احساساتی و تصوری نه حقیقی مثل نوای آروم موسیقی. توی این نمایش من، هم گوینده هستم هم یکی از اشخاص بازی، بازیکنان این نمایش یکی مادرم آماندا وینگ فیلد و یکی دیگه خواهرم لورا وینگ فیلد هستن و یه آقایی که مهمون ماست و صحنه ی آخر نمایش صداشو میشنوید. اون تنها شخصیت واقعی این نمایش و نماینده ی دنیاییه که من و دیگرون از اون جدا هستیم، ولی چون من شاعر هستم و به تشبیه و نمونه علاقه دارم، از وجود این شخص هم به عنوان نمونه استفاده میکنم

اون نماینده ی چیزیه که توی زندگی، خودشو خیلی دیر نشون میده و ما همیشه در انتظار اون زندگی میکنیم

توی این نمایش شخص پنجمی هم هست، که اصلاً حضور نداره، فقط عکسش، که از اندازه ی طبیعی بزرگتره، به دیوار اتاق نشیمن نصبه؛ اون پدر ماست که خیلی وقت پیش اینجا بود؛ پدر تلفنچی بود، و از بس با نقاط دوردست تماس گرفت، خودشم به نقاط دوردست کشیده شد؛ از کارش تو تلفنخونه استعفا داده، و از این شهر فرار کرده؛ آخرین خبری که از اون رسیده، کارت پستالی است که از شهر «مازاتلان»، سواحل اقیانوس کبیر، برای ما فرستاده؛ روی کارت فقط دو کلمه نوشته بود: «سلام خداحافظ » آدرسم نداشت؛ پدرم توی اون عکس، لبخند خیلی جذابی بر لب داشت، مثل اینکه پیش خودش میگفت همیشه همینطور میخندم؛ ...؛)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 24/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Brina.
898 reviews4 followers
November 15, 2016
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 powerful piece that is still widely read and studied today.

It is St Louis in between the two world wars. Amanda Wingfield has been unable to cope with her husband's disappearance of the last sixteen years and has raised her two grown children Tom and Laura essentially on her own. The husband's portrait graces the mantel and despite his abandoning of the family he is held in high regard. All three Wingfields come with baggage stemming from the father's flight, and an outsider would view the family as dysfunctional. Williams presents the family in this light, even noting in the introduction that Laura resembles his sister Rose and Tom could possibly be himself. I believe this is what made the play as effective as it was because Williams wrote what he knew and was able to create deep characters.

Amanda in her own way attempts to do what she thinks is best for Tom and Laura, but as they are now grown, she has little authority over them. Tom from a young age took over the role of man of the house and turns over all of his earnings to Amanda. Meanwhile, Amanda desired for Laura to learn to be a typist and for Tom to go into business, but neither lasted long at night school. She thinks highly of both of them while glossing over their faults, leading Tom to want to follow in his father's footsteps while Laura lives in her own world of glass figurines.

Because this play takes place in one location and does not contain much action, it was easy to be read and create images of the characters in my mind. I enjoyed the imagery of Amanda as a middle aged southern woman who was once a belle as well as Tom who desired to see the world. Williams talks of the world at large by mentioning the Century of Progress in Chicago as well as the Guernica in Spain. A great world is taking place outside of the apartment and Tom wants to be a part of it in spite of his mother's intentions. Had the play contained more characters, interactions, and locations, it would not have lended itself to be read rather than viewed. It is in this regard that Williams timeless works remain accessible.

I have enjoyed my close study of Tennessee Williams plays. I visited with the Kowalskis of New Orleans, the Moffits of Memphis, and now the Wingfields of St Louis. I have found it refreshing to read plays because one gets to know characters in a manner much more intimately than over the course of a long book full of action. Williams' plays run the gamut of human emotions and often contain both exhilaration and despondency from the same characters in the same play. Reading these short yet powerful plays, it is easy to root personae on as their emotions run the entire spectrum. After reading these three plays in close proximity of each other, I see how Williams' characters have remained timeless even fifty years later. I encourage others to pick a playwright and read many of their works to see how emotions and themes repeat themselves across time and place. For this memory play, I rate The Glass Menagerie 4.5 bright stars.
Profile Image for Guille.
755 reviews1,540 followers
May 4, 2021
Decía Virginie Despentes en su impresionante Vernon Subutex que “Somos inquilinos de las situaciones, nunca propietarios”, y todos sabemos lo difícil 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 años que ya no es la popular princesita sureña 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, Laura y Tom, 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 niña ha sido un factor determinante en su alejamiento del mundo al que ha sustituido por la colección de pequeñas figuritas de cristal que cuida obsesivamente y que son símbolo 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 situación, Williams nos hace trágicamente conscientes de lo distinta que podría 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 decidió su destino, en el que se entabló la lucha interna entre ir tras sus sueños o quedarse y hacer frente a sus responsabilidades.
“¿Quién demonios es capaz de salir de un ataúd sin quitar un solo clavo?”
Uno 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, amigo.
“Eres el único 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 antelación.”
Aunque 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 demostración de talento, y sentir como su mente se convierte en ese escenario por el que, sin mucha dificultad, Tennesse Williams extenderá 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.
Profile Image for Susan Budd.
Author 7 books213 followers
April 10, 2020
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 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.
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,084 reviews7,001 followers
February 9, 2022
Many of us know the story set in a dingy tenement: a mother and her adult son and daughter. If the phrase ‘lives of quiet desperation' has any meaning, it’s here in this stage play.


The fragility of daughter Laura is symbolized by the tiny glass animals she collects and her life of dusting them and playing old records. She’s so unable to handle stress that she vomits during exams and has to withdraw from secretarial school.

Son Tom is a frustrated writer and poet who hates his job in a shoe warehouse. He dreams of escape and adventure as a sailor in the merchant marine.

The mother, a stereotypical Southern belle, talks constantly of her “gentlemen callers” in her youth. Now she is fixated on the need for her daughter to have some callers – even one.

The absent father is symbolized by a living room portrait – he simply took off.

The stage is set for a young man, an acquaintance of Tom’s in the factory, to visit for dinner with disaster to follow.

In reading the introduction, I was struck by the autobiographical nature of the story, starting with the author’s name, which was Tom, before he adopted Tennessee. He was born in Mississippi to a ‘southern’ mother and later lived in St. Louis and New Orleans. He had a mentally challenged sister who had a lobotomy the year before this play was performed. The author regretted all his life that he did not prevent this operation on his sister.


This play was the first big success by Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) who went on to become one of only a handful of well-known American playwrights. He also wrote Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Night of the Iguana, with most made into movies.

Top photo from the play from cloudfront.net
The author from newstatesman.com
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
February 13, 2017
*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.
Profile Image for Eric Jay Sonnenschein.
Author 11 books18 followers
May 9, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Christian Doig.
46 reviews73 followers
May 8, 2023
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 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.
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews494 followers
September 19, 2021
عاشق زنبورها هستم اما من انسانم نه زنبور

روز به روز بیشتر داریم شبیه زنبورها میشیم...کار! کار! کار!...پشت سرهم...و آنقدر تکرار پشتِ تکرار که همه شبیه هم شدیم...از بچگی تو اون گوش‌های بزرگت به اندازه کافی فرو کرده‌اند...اگه می‌خوای خوشبخت شی کار ک��!!! مگو چیست کار!!! سعدیا خودت که ول میگشتی...وسط مجلس این نصیحتت چی بود!؟...حالا کار کن چپ و راست...شب و روز...آن هم برای قدرتمندانی که روز به روز بیشتر طبیعت و زمین را نابود می‌کنند...همه باهم یالا...تیشه‌ها را بلند کنید...محکم‌تر...می‌خواهیم خوشبخت‌تان کنیم...یالا با تمام توان...تندتر بزن...سکه‌ها دارند برق می‌زنند...یالا در بطری‌ها را باز کنید که مست شَن و فراموش کنند تیشه به ریشه خود می‌زنن!!! یالا تا عادت کنن به آلودگی و سرطان و ذات الریه...بعد همه‌شون رو بچپونید تو اون کندوها...ببخشید آپارتمان‌ها...یالا حالا تا می‌تونید فیلم بسازید...اینا چیه ساختین؟ بندازینشون دور... فیلم هیجانی و اکشن فقط...این زنبورها...ببخشید این آدم‌ها هیجان می‌خوان...بزن و بکش...بروسلی رو بیارین...مُرده!...آرنولد و شواتزنگر رو بیارین...زیادی پیر شده!...رامبو رو بیارین...استاتام رو بیارین...پول خرج کنین...اشکالی نداره...چن برابرشو باز از همون سکه‌هایی که دادیم در میاریم!!!...فقط هندی‌ها رو نیارین...اینا دیگه شورشو درآوردن...خود پیاز داغن...مردم زود می‌فهمنن کلکی تو کار ماس!!!...البته آبکی هم نیاز داریم...سریالهای ترکیه...آفرین...یه کم هم طعم تند مکزیکی داشته باشه عالی میشه!!!

زندگی همین شده...یه شلم شوربا در دست قدرتمندان...یا باید فرار کنیم یا تن بدیم به بردگی‌ای که زندگی نامیدنش

هروقت دارم کفشامو پا می‌کنم، یه کم می‌لرزم و به این فکر می‌کنم که زندگی چقدر کوتاهه و من دارم توش چی‌کار می‌کنم! معنیش هرچی که باشه، می‌دونم کفش پوشیدن نیست. مگه این‌که بخوام به یه سفر طولانی برم!
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,572 followers
August 24, 2017
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 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 world!

About Me
For 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 https://thisismytruthnow.com, 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]
Profile Image for هدى يحيى.
Author 8 books16k followers
March 28, 2018
كل مرة أقرأ فيها لتينسي ويليامز
أقول لما لم أختر مسرحية ليوجين أونيل

فيما عدا عربة اسمها الرغبة
لا أجد لتينيسي ما يشبع نهمي للمسرح
ولا أجد معه المتعة التي عادة ما أنشدها في قراءة المسرحية

لقد اخترت هذه لشهرتها
ولكنني مرة بعد مرة لا أفهم سبب شهرة تينيسي المدوية

تجربة أقل من العادية بمراحل
Profile Image for Dream.M.
453 reviews90 followers
March 30, 2023
میدونین یاد چی افتادم؟ یاد وقتی که پسرا میخوان یه دخترو بپیچونن ولی بی احترامی ام نکرده باشن، میگن ببین فلانی! تو خیلی فوق العاده ایا ولی من لیاقتتو ندارم. :)))
از گروه همخوانی و میون چتهای غزاله و سعید تقلب کردم و اول فیلم اقتباسی "اینجا بدون من" رو دیدم و بعدم نمایشنامه رو خوندم.
خب! فکر میکنم فیلم تاثیر بیشتری روم گذاشت و بیشتر دوسش دارم.
Profile Image for Hessam Ghaeminejad.
134 reviews13 followers
July 4, 2017
مادر گیر کرده در خیالات گذشت
لورا وا مانده در نقص جسمانی حال
و تام پسر در دام رویاپردازی آینده
و تنها جیم است که در حال زندگی می کند و برای آینده تصمیم میگیرد
شخصیت پردازی های نمایش به شدت قوی و واقعی هستند ؛ زمان نوشتن این نمایش (۱۹۴۴) برابر با سال پایانی جنگ جهانی دوم بود و سه شخصیت( مادر ، لورا و تام) دچار ناامیدی ای بودند که بطور کلی بر تمام جهان سایه انداخته بود و تا حدودی شخصیت جیم برای تلطیف آن لازم بود، البته کار کرد شخصیت جیم به این یک مورد منتهی نمیشود و علاوه برآن باعث روبرو شدن مادر با حقیقت شده و چون آب سردی بر پیکر مادر فرو ریخته می شود ؛ چشمان لورا را بر ضعف های روحیش باز میکند وباعث می شود که تام با گفتن نیتش به جیم احساس رهایی کند و از تصمیمش مطمئن شود
شاید بتوان گفت قهرمان نمایش جیم است نه خانواده وینگفیلد
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
September 3, 2019
“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 adaptations (and preferred the Paul Newman directed one with John Malkovich as Tom), and just while driving listened to one godawful audiotaped rendition of the play by a guy named Tom Kent. Mr. Kent is a northerner who attempts a screeching, Moms Mabley (yes, ALL the characters sound like Moms Mabley, and I know that 90% of you probably don’t know who that it is, sorry) travesty of an interpretation of the play complete with cringing mispronunciations throughout. I could have turned it off, but didn’t, because, well, you still have Williams’ words, his language, his heart.

“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” --Williams

Menagerie is what Williams calls a “memory” play that takes place “in the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating in a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy” Tom). It is his most autobiographical play, creating characters much like his family: His father was, like Tom’s father, a telephone salesman who “fell in love with long distance” (i.e., he ditched the family); like Tom’s mother Williams’ mother was left to worry (pre-social network) just how the family might survive; Laura—"I'm just bewildered-- by life”--collects glass figurines—her glass “menagerie” and is, like Williams’ sister, a unicorn, an oddly special, fragile girl, physically disabled, mentally unstable, for whom Amanda wants a husband.

“When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.”

Williams, who took on the name Tennessee, was born Thomas, and like Tom in the play, felt the burden of taking care of his family as he longed to see the world and write about it. Tom is the narrator of the play, moving in and out of scene, working in a warehouse, going to movies to escape, until he could enact his plan to—like his father—hit the road (or in Tom and Tennessee’s case, join the armed forces He is sick of living at home:

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 on Tom: “You live in a dream, you manufacture illusions!”

The play involves a series of sad, desperate failures in Amanda’s attempt to secure a future for her daughter. She finds that Laura has not been going to typing classes they have paid dearly for her to take. Instead, she spends that time walking the street, daydreaming. The central event of the play is Tom’s agreeing to invite a “gentleman caller” for dinner to meet Laura. The Wingfield family is moored very much in the south of the past, like Blanche in Streetcar, facing a future Tom would seem to embody, the future of television, electronics, public speaking, financial success. Things look promising when Tom arrives, and he is nice to Laura, just bursting with American plucky idealism and correspondence school self-help:

“People are not so dreadful when you know them. That's what you have to remember! And everybody has problems, not just you, but practically everybody has got some problems. You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.”

“Why, you’re not crippled, you just have a little defect — hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it — develop charm — and vivacity — and — charm!”

but you don’t have to work too hard to imagine how things work out.

As when we see Streetcar’s Blanche, in Menagerie we view a family in financial peril, with a woman particularly in peril because she is a woman. Fragile, close to shattering like glass, Laura cannot support herself and maybe never will be able to. Precarity is the name of the day, washed in lovely, melancholy colors bathed in wonderful poetic language. The play, because it features two teenagers, is read usually in high school, but it is lovely for anyone, really.
Profile Image for Brian Yahn.
310 reviews593 followers
September 27, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Mahdi Lotfabadi.
208 reviews40 followers
November 14, 2017
چی بود بهش خوردم؟

میز بود.

مثل اینکه چیزی از روش افتاد؟


خدا کنه اون اسب موچیک یه شاخ نباشه.

چرا خودشه.

ای داد شکست؟

حالا مثل اسبای دیگه‌س، دیگه شاخ نداره.

مگه شاخش...

شکست، عیبی نداره، شاید این یه خوشبختی در حین بدبختیه.

می‌شه گفت کل نمایشنامه‌ی باغ وحش شیشه‌ای توی همین چندتا دیالوگ بیان می‌شه! نمایشنامه‌ی خوبی بود.
Profile Image for Mariel.
667 reviews1,053 followers
December 23, 2013
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 Versus the Volanoe when Tom Hanks didn't know it but he knew it that he couldn't possibly have a "brain cloud"? (He runs his hands back and forth over his head to gesticulate that he KNEW it.) [Once upon a time Tom Hanks was really cool. This was before anyone ever told him that he resembled Jimmy Stewart in bad lighting.] My mom bought us freaking glass figurines to encourage it. It was all part of her sick thing to encourage my social anxiety like how some moms encourage obesity by overfeeding and then afterwards picking on their fat kids. (The Brando Street Car was a frequent run in our house too. My brother was given ciggies and wife beater shirts. No lie!)
The times when I'd beg not to go to school 'cause I was being bullied during volleyball practice? A reference to Laura's embarrassment to arrive to school late and limp in front of everyone. I could go on and on. (My mom's sympathies were with the mom, Amanda.)
I felt like I already knew Laura's displacement.

If my twin were here right now I'd ask her if the Paul Newman directed version was one of those filmed from the stage John Malkovich movies like True West and The Death of a Salesman (both are superb if you've never seen 'em). I'm thinking it was filmed for tv. I'm probably wrong and Lauren will later tell me that I am soooo wrong. Anyway, I love this version.
Anyway, it was Tom who killed me when I watched the Newman version over and over again. It was his escape that I felt was being shown back to me. More than Laura's painstaking care of her self-built world I loved the one that Tom reached out to in outside sources like films. I love Killer Wingfield. Let's go to the movies, Shakespeare.
The weird thing is that I'm having difficulty coming up with a whole for this. I know how I feel about their day to day. How the hell did it end? I'm coming up with nothing. Should it feel like that? I KNEW it.
Profile Image for Vartika.
373 reviews604 followers
September 8, 2020
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.

Indeed, for Williams, the social environment in the wake of the Great War was the problem—it was, according to him, existence entirely out of touch with reality; a society in constant denial of rot. The Glass Menagerie, written in the 1940s and set during the Depression years, is but a reflection of human discontent leaking through the lives of those expected to be cogs in the great American machine, and the narrator, Tom, is the prism through whom the awareness of it filters down to us.

"I'm tired of the movies and I am about to move!" The irony of the American Dream was at its greatest during the Depression Era of the 1930s
In an interview with Jean Evans for New York PM Magazine in May 1945, Tennessee Williams spoke about the inhumanity around which the American ideal of post-industrial progress was centered, saying how insane it is "for human beings to work their whole lives away at dull, stupid, routine, anesthetizing jobs for just a little more than the necessities of life." According to him, "There should be time—and money—for development. For living."

This is precisely what the character of Tom Wingfield represents in The Glass Menagerie: an awareness of the farce that was (and continues to be) known as the American Dream. He recognises his job at the shoe factory as mechanical and dehumanising, and yearns for a life of adventure and creativity. He is also aware of the manner in which the need for stability breeds a culture of conformity; how glamour, sex, and parties are used to distract one from the monotony of such a life and the need for change. Tired of distracting himself with the movies, Tom, based loosely on Williams himself (his given name was Thomas), wishes to finally break free of this mold and live out on his own terms.

"Unicorns—aren't they extinct in the modern world?" Jane Wyman as Laura Wingfield in the 1950 film adaptation
While Tom stands for the creative spark that this socially ascendant, conformist world wants to stamp out; this play is, in fact, about his sister, Laura. Whereas Tom's gender affords him the level of risk-taking that eventually leads him to leave home, Laura is representative of an artistic sensibility that has been rendered fragile and breakable in the world she inhabits. She is the real star of the story, and her awkwardness is not inadequacy but simply a sign of difference. However, just as the glass unicorn she prizes, she is fated to lose her horn: as a woman (and especially since her difference is of no 'use' in a society that values its members on their productivity), the only future she can have is as either a working woman or a married one. Pushing her further towards this is the spectre of her mother's lost faded glory.

Amanda represents a damning nostalgia for the belle époque, and is shadowed by a regretful failure to attain the stability afforded by the American Dream. In many ways, she represents the contradictory propriety of the middle classes (despite her descent into a working class family): whereas she shows a deep aversion to the unconventional ideas and 'vulgarity' of D H Lawrence, she is nonetheless given to demonstrating brassieres at the supermarket and selling subscriptions to women's magazines to make ends meet. However, Amanda is also a figure of valour and endurance: her uppity cheerfulness and optimism for her children is also a result of her trying to strike it out on her own and to ensure that they see are able to ascend to a life that she narrowly missed. Thus, she is preoccupied with the idea of Laura finding a gentleman caller, and one who does not leave her in dire straits like her own absentee husband.

To a large extent, Jim is exactly the opposite of Tom and Laura's father. His life is planned entirely for social ascendancy in a conformist world—he takes courses for 'self-improvement', and even his engagement to Betty is for social elevation. He is in many ways the foil to Laura, her demureness in high school contrasted with the excellence that made him stand out in that arena. And yet, six years after his success in high school, his job and social stature is hardly any different from Tom's. Thus, Jim ultimately represents the failure of the Dream—it is an lucky exception, not a rule.

In any case, Laura's unicorn loses its horn, for the glass animals represent—for her as well as for Tom—the delicate ties that need to be broken if one wants to go somewhere. While Laura blows out her candles at the end, she has been enriched in one sense: there exists the affirmation that the worst of her cripple does not in fact exist. While this occurs in the shadow of Tom's abandonment of her and their mother, it does leave us with some hope for their survival and wellbeing.

"I didn't go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places." The play is roughly autobiographical and based on episodes from the playwright's own life
The most popular critique of this play rests on its depiction of Laura as interminably fragile. However, The Glass Menagerie is, ultimately, a memory play, and in that, the events therein are wholly sentimentalised and exaggerated. Given how close Tom is to his sister (and Williams to his own), it is not surprising that he remembers Laura as more fragile, more of a victim, than she may have been.

On looking closely, The Glass Menagerie is as much a play of redemption for Tom as it is of regret, for by playing over his memories he is pacifying the "familiar bit of music" and the "piece of transparent glass" that pursues and catches him unawares. More subtly, the play is also his coming to terms with the absence of his father: underlying the tone of the play is an understanding of this figure, and even a sense of identification with him.

Thus, the only antagonist we are left with at the end is the system. Time acts as a balm, and memory as warning. The effect of this play is such that the tinkling of glass can be heard even when you're only reading it.
Profile Image for Rowena.
500 reviews2,463 followers
March 30, 2013
“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, abandoned-by-husband single mother who has extremely high demands on her children, the crippled daughter who has extremely low self-esteem, and is still (shock, horror) single at age 24, and the son who is stuck in a job he despises and desires to be a poet.

I liked the ending because, although we're not explicitly told what fate brings the main characters, there is a feeling of hope left lingering in the air. I think the ending is very realistic.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
September 4, 2010
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:

[image error]

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?

Profile Image for Mohamed Khaled Sharif.
770 reviews874 followers
September 2, 2020

مسرحية "تماثيل الوحوش الزجاجية" هي مسرحية تُعتبر كسيرة ذاتية للكاتب "تينيسي ويليامز" حيث أنه جسد أوجاعه في هذه المسرحية.

المسرحية تتحدث عن العائلة "وينغفيلد" المُكونة من الأم "أماندا" والابن "توم" والأبنة "لورا".
الأم تعيش على أوجاع ترك زوجها لها وبحثه عن شئ ما مجهول وذلك يؤثر فيها كثيراً وظهر ذلك في محادثاتها الطويلة التي بلا معنى وكلامها عن الخُطاب السبعة عشر.. والابن يعيش على حلم المغامرة الذي يتمنى أن يعيشها ويُعد نفسه لذلك فعلاً وحتى ذلك الوقت يُقضي كُل وقته في العمل في المستودع أو الذهاب للسينما.

أما الأبنة "لورا" الخجولة، صاحبة العرج الخفيف، التي تفشل في كل شئ.. وكل أهتمامها هو مجموعة من التماثيل الزجاجية.
تم رسم شخصية "لورا" بجمال أنت لا تعلم مصدره، سيجعلك تتعاطف معها من أول وهلة.
كانت "لورا" تُحب "جيم أوكونور" منذ الثانوية، وعندما علمت أنه سيأتي ليخطبها -كما كانت تعرف- شعرنا ولوهلة أنه سوف تتحقق الأماني البعيدة لها، وستكون صبرت كثيراً لتنال كثيراً.. ولكنا كُنا على موعد مع نهاية حزينة من نوعاً ما.
ولكن بلا شك أن لورا تعلمت شيئاً ما، ولم تعد كما كانت قبل مواجهتها مع "جيم" ومحادثاته الطويلة التي أعتقد أنها ستغير من حياتها.

وعلى عكس أغلب مواد الدراسة، كانت تجربة جيدة!

Profile Image for Shakibookz.
239 reviews25 followers
March 23, 2019
از متن کتاب:
شما فقط یه نقص کوچک جسمی دارین که مردم خیلی کم متوجه اون میشن، منتها شما اونو هزار مرتبه تو مغز خودتون بزرگ کردین، می‌دونین من چه راهنمایی‌ای میتونم به شما بکنم؟ فکر کنین که شما تو یه مورد بهتر و بزرگتر از دیگرون هستین.

چه قدر قشنگ بود حرفهای جیم در مورد عقده حقارت💓👏🏻 جای کتابهای مسخره مدرسه، باید این چیزها رو صدبار بخونیم. از این نمایشنامه، فیلم اقتباسی اینجا بدون من به کارگردانی بهرام توکلی و همینطور فیلم Glass Menagerie 1950 به کارگردانی Irving Rapper و... ساخته شده که ندیدمشون هنوز.
Profile Image for Behin.
75 reviews22 followers
January 25, 2022
-خبببب، این اولین نمایشنامه ای بود که خوندم و حقیقتا انتخاب درستی کردم چون منو به وجودیتِ نمایشنامه علاقمند کرد و قطعا در آینده نمایشنامه های بیشتری میخونم:)
- یه فضای جدیدی داشت و اصلا قابل پیش بینی نبود
-خیلیم کوتاه بود، یعنی سریع خونده میشه🗿
-خوشم اومد🥺
Profile Image for Nancy.
5 reviews
February 15, 2009
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 collection. But these dreams are misplaced, and instead only become desparate attempts to escape from realities. These people try their hardest to maintain their sense of happiness by losing themselves in their fantasies, but the peace of mind that comes from their escapism is fragile and fleeting. Disillusionment adds a heavy burden to their very ordinary existences, and only drives them to further retreat in their dreams of better, more fulfilling lives.
Profile Image for Heba.
1,031 reviews1,981 followers
February 15, 2020
مسرحية" اللعب الزجاجية " للكاتب الامريكي" تينيسي وليامز"..
فتاة خجولة ، انطوائية ، وحيدة لا تتقن سوى الإعتناء بمجموعة اللعب الزجاجية ، ولكن كان هناك تمثال زجاجي يختلف عن باقي المجموعة ..يبدو غريباً فيما بينهم ..
بينما كانت تحدث من تُحب ، اذ به يكسر ذاك التمثال الزجاجي عندئذٍ أصبح شبيهاً بالمجموعة ..لا يختلف عنهم.. هل لذلك دلالة رمزية ما ؟..
أجل دلالات وليس دلالة واحدة وأظن ذلك ما يميز أدب المسرح بأنه لا يحمل ثيمة واحدة...
لقد كان إيذاناً بكسر حاجز الخوف وفقدان الثقة لدى الفتاة ...، كما لو أن تلك اللحظة تعلن انه الآن بمقدورها الانسجام مع الآخرين...بعدما واجهها من تحب بحقيقة معاناتها ومخاوفها ...بكلمات جداً بسيطة " أنتِ جميلة، فريدة ، لا تشبهين الأخريات ، لا تقللين من شأن نفسك "...مثل تلك الكلمات كفيلة بمنح الحياة لفتاة ظنت أنها ميتة لا وجود لها منذ أمدٍ بعيد....
كما أنه زجاجي هش قابل للكسر تماماً كقلب الفتاة الذي أحبت أحدهم فلم يجمعهما القدر سوياً ، لذا أهدت لمن تحب التمثال المكسور تذكاراً كما لو أنه بديلاً لقلبها المفطور....
فهذه هى الحياة تمنحنا شيئاً لتسلبنا شيئاً آخر ...💔
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,457 reviews8,559 followers
March 7, 2013
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, Laura, the painfully shy girl with a penchant for glass, Tom, the trapped adventurer who yearns for excitement, and Jim, the gentleman caller who represents optimism and progress in society. The themes of disillusionment, quiet disaster, and the death of the American dream intertwine with the fragmented family and lead to a tragedy of epic proportions.

But I must admit my bias regarding the The Glass Menagerie - 1) I love the word "menagerie" and 2) I've experienced family issues like the ones portrayed in this play. However, not all stories that strike home succeed; this one hit the mark in its bittersweet portrayal of a mother who pushes her children in the wrong direction and a son and a daughter who fight back.

Highly recommended, especially for those who can watch the film version directed by Paul Newman.

*review cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.
Profile Image for Mahdiyeh Bjr.
26 reviews36 followers
April 28, 2015
هرروز صبح كه مي آي به اتاق منو بيدارم ميكني و ميگي: بلندشو جگرگوشه من مثل خورشيد بدرخش، من پيش خودم ميگم: چه خوشبختن كساني كه مرده ان!
واسه خودش شاهكاري بود! رويا بايد انگار هميشه رويا بمونه والا عين تمام واقعيت ها تلخ ميشه...
Profile Image for Mahsa.
307 reviews337 followers
October 17, 2015
آدم ها با واقعیت هایِ تلخِ زندگیشون یکسان برخورد نمیکنن. در آخر هم نه کسی که واقعیت رو کورکورانه انکار میکنه بَرَنده س و نه کسی که اون رو اونقدر بزرگ میکنه که مجبور میشه به دنیایِ خیالیِ خودش پناه ببره...
نمایشنامه قشنگی بود.
Profile Image for emma.
162 reviews102 followers
March 29, 2023
told through the perspective of memory, tennessee williams studies the concept of one’s dreams through the tale of an american family: amanda, an overbearing single mother, laura, her mentally unwell daughter, and tom, the hopeful son who desires to be more than he is. the concept of dreams sits at the heart of the glass menagerie as our three characters misplace their dreams into forms of escapism - amanda in her children, laura in her glass menagerie collection, and tom in adventure - where disillusionment runs rampant in their lives as they paralyse themselves in their mind.

- 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Sketchbook.
676 reviews218 followers
September 24, 2016
"Blow out your candles, Laura." An American theatre classic. Even on the printed page it's a killer.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,314 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.