Reflection on the Glass Menagerie

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The Glass Menagerie: The play was written for a small cast of four characters: Amanda Wingfield, the antagonist Tom Wingfield, the protagonist Laura Wingfield Jim O’Connor There is a fifth character mentioned, but this character doesn’t appear onstage in the play: Mr. Wingfield, Amanda’s absentee husband and the father of Tom and Laura. Like a ghost, he still haunts the life of the family even though he doesn’t live with them anymore. He abandoned them. Even though this play is old, and was first performed in 1944, I thought it was interesting and I understood the story.

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 The play embraces the human condition by depicting characters with life circumstances and feelings anyone can relate to, even in 2007. With atmospheric lighting, interesting props, attractive performers, and skillful acting, there is no way the play could not have been memorable. The character of Laura is sad. Her character has two issues for sure, and I thought the actress portrayed her very well. Laura is disabled physically, she is unable to walk, but she is also crippled by her extreme social anxiety. Her anxiety leads to a major development, that moves that story along well. Laura was being sent to the Republican Business College to learn secretarial skills. As the plot unfolds, Amanda and we, the audience learn that she hasn’t actually been attending the classes as she was supposed to be, she couldn’t stand being around unfamiliar people and because of her social anxiety, she struggled to learn. This was a major setback for her. This causes the us to feel sorry for Laura; most of us can understand the fear of the unfamiliar and strange environment especially when it comes to school. When it comes out that Laura hasn’t been going to school as she is supposed to her mother, Amanda decides that since she hasn’t learned a skill to support herself, Laura must get married. This leads to the hinge of the whole production, the climax, the scene in which Jim, and the gentleman caller Tom arranges to visit Laura.

On his visit he reveals that he is engaged to marry another woman, the drama seemed a bit much and very eye roll worthy. The last scene in the play was the most emotion. I feel as if the play did well overall at telling a compelling and dramatic story, as well as relating to the target audience well in making the characters seem real as well as loveable. For me Tom, the character, was the best acted in my opinion, he really brought the play and cast new heights, certainly the star of the show. The way he delivered his lines, and the way he held himself, with dignity, with passion, and as sense of determined spirit, he really held my gaze and demanded attention in every scene he was in. The scenes that he had a screaming match with his mom, Amanda, surprisingly slamming the door in her face, then dramatically storming off down the fire-escape, seemed realistic and genuine, as if the actor had done this in real life before. I had no trouble believing the actor was the character. In the play, the actor playing Tom was bosterous when he had to be, but was also great at projecting his voice softer as needed, like when he delivered lines as the narrator, he sounded as if he was speaking to me and only me from the stage, as if he and i were having a conversation.The actor really knew how to express himself very convincingly, from the anger in scenes with Amanda to the love in scenes with his sister Laura. This was true also when he gave an apology to Amanda after a fight. It seemed very real. The character Amanda, the mom, is certifiably crazy. She wants more than anything to relive her younger life again. when she was in wanted, and had many suitors or gentleman callers. The contrast with her adult life is rough for sure but no need to be as insane as she is with her children. Her husband left her alone and their 2 children years forgotten, and she would never get invited to cotillion or be looked at as a woman fit for marriage ever again..

The actress that played Amanda was strikingly good, to the point that she made me uncomfortable. I felt sorry for her kids and people around her. To top it all off the fact that her daughter Laura, who is disabled both physically and emotionally felt a need to make her mom happy and go through with the arranged meeting with Jim was awful. In regards to Amanda, the are reminded of the need to have friends surround us and keep us accountable and a good old fashion reality check, It is a complete mess when someone refuses to deal with the truth of changed circumstances and adjust just like Laura’s mom. Amanda sees limited possibilities for a woman to succeed in life this is due to her own isolationism and stubbornness. She has been crippled by the abandonment of her husband, and doesn’t think that Laura, a smart and beautiful young woman can manage in a harsh world without a man or a job or both. She isn’t stopping to consider what that her daughter is emotionally ready to take life on and do it her own way. The stage sound lights and set played an massively important role in the play. It was designed so that the we could see the characters like Tom Laura and Amanda moving in and out of and the Wingfield family’s apartment during the time period, finishing touches such as the door and central fireplace where key set holders that added to the entire performance. The small details such as the cuts in the set allowed you to see the actors as they walked through the door.

This was especially effective in the drama that unfolded between Tom and Amanda. One of the best parts is the one when Tom walks out the door to leave and get away, and his mom comes running after him. The place that they live in is St. Louis. Loud, dirty, and crowded. The set design, the clothes they wore, and props make it known that they did not have any money at all. They unfortunately have to worry about money all of the time and being able to pay bills. They are survivalist, living one day at a time. A life hard for anyone of any time period to live. The lighting in the play was masterfully utilized to truly set an ambiance about the play.. The writer and director uses light as a symbol of hope, of heart and the will to realize the American dream. This play is sometimes described as a memory play, the stage was often dark and dank, as a comparison for regret and longing of a better life missed out on. Lighting during solo’s done well the rest of the stage was dimmed, and the light would come up on the speaker. Some of the lighting suggested transient hopefulness, such as in the part before Jim’s came.

The Glass Menagerie reaches us in so many ways. The anger, sadness, love, and hope of a better future are all beautifully done. I feel like I empathize really well to the Tom on a personal level. My mom and I were really close all throughout my life, and now that I live far away from home, we have grown and drifted apart. When I was younger and lived at home, she was always worrying about me and my money and the sports that I played. . I was a good student most of the time, and she still didn’t think that anything less than perfection was ok. In the play, Tom really tries hard and busts his butt. His father him and his sister and mom so he helps out and takes care of his mom and Laura. Whatever it is he earns, pays for their bills and feeds them.. Amanda is understandably upset with her former husband, but wrongfully takes it out on Tom. She can’t tell her missing husband how angry and hurt she is because he isn’t there, so instead she criticizes Tom for going out to the movies late at night and other things he does when he isn’t working. She never praises himt for all the good that he does, and doesn’t admit that without him they would have no food or apartment or anything at all. That thought drives her madness. In conclusion of the performance, the character Tom leaves. The whole time Tom telling the story from distant memories. The clothes that the actors wore for the play were great depression era costumes. They were not supposed to look new or nice because this is a family without any money. The costumes are supposed to convey their limited means, and the clothes were worn. A memorable costume here is late in the when Jim arrives for Laura, and, Amanda, can’t resist calling attention to herself. Jim is supposed to be coming to the house to see Laura but Amanda gets dressed up in a really nice dress from a long time ago.

Her attention seeking is obvious it underscores her mental state well. An important part in the play is the namesake: glass menagerie, this is Laura’s collection that she polishes. The glass menagerie is a metaphor for her mental and physical state. The delicate glass is easier for Laura to relate to. Laura is like one of those glass figurines, and she is well protected, if not over protected by her mother and brother. The fire-escape and stairs are a symbol as well. They foreshadow Tom’s decision to leave the family and live independently.. A symbolic plot development happens in the top of the play, when Jim breaks the glass unicorn, a show to us the audience that he is to hard and rough and could never be a good fit for Laura or that family. I liked that performance a lot, in writing this paper, I really found it cool to dissect the story, Tom Laura and Amanda, and where it all came to a head. Each and every one of us have a story, this was theirs. This play made me reflect on the strength of the human spirit, the weakness of our character, and choices in life that lead us to where we are today.

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Reflection On The Glass Menagerie. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved December 10, 2022 , from

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