The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie is one act play divided into seven scenes; it was presented in New York in 1945 and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. It is set in St Louis during the years of the Great Depression. This play is called "memory play" since there is a narrator on stage, who recollects events from the past.
According to the plot the narrator is Tom Wingefield, a young would-be poet ho supports his family by working in a shie factory like but who is going to have to leave them since, like his father years before, he "has fallen in love ith long distances", he wants to travel freely all over the world. He is living with his mother Amanda and his sister Laura. Amanda comes from the South and nostalgically clings to the past, when she was a charming Southern belle surrounded by many suitors. Laura is crippled, shy and sensitive girl, unable to face reality. Like her mother, she lives in a world of illusion and finds escape in her "menagerie", a collection of small glass animals.
To help her out of her voluntary seclusion, Amanda begs Tom to bring a male friend home to visit Laura, and Tom invites Jim O'Connor, a colleague at the warehouse, who embodies the illusory all-American qualities.
Jim is a genuiely extrovert, optimistic, sensitive young man, with the kind of American values that Amanda approves her in friendly conversation; despite the girl's awkward resistance, he is even able to make her dance across the room. But during the dance, they bump into the table and, symbolically, knock off a glass unicorn, Laura's favourite piece. Jim, moreover, turns out to be already engaged. After he has left the house, Tom and Amanda have a quarrel, as a consequence of which Tom abandons his family. The play end with Tom, some years in the future, thinking back to Laura, whom he can never forget. The final scene is painful, occasionally humorous, and essentially elegiac rather than fully tragic, as its premises seem to anticipate. Tom escapes from his intolerant family set-up, but there is no dramatic resolution of the essential questions the play has raised about loneliness and defeat, illusion and reality.