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104 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1945
“¿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.
"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 1930sIn 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."
"Unicorns—aren't they extinct in the modern world?" Jane Wyman as Laura Wingfield in the 1950 film adaptationWhile 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.
"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 lifeThe 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.
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.