"The glass menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.

Essay by princess_ariel2003High School, 12th gradeA+, September 2003

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The Glass Menagerie takes place in the Wingfield family's apartment in St. Louis, in the 1930's. The events of the play are by memory. The play centers on Tom, his mother Amanda, and his sister Laura. In 1937 they live together in a small apartment in St. Louis. Their father abandoned them years earlier, and Tom is now the family's main source of income. He works at the Continental Shoemakers warehouse during the day, but he disappears nightly "to the movies." Amanda is a loving mother, but her meddling and nagging are hard to live with for Tom, who is a grown man and who is earning the wages that support their family. Laura is a frightened and terribly shy girl, with unbelievably weak nerves. She also has pleurisis , and she seldom leaves the apartment. She busies herself caring for her "glass menagerie," a collection of delicate little glass animals.

As the play begins Amanda is calling Tom to the dinner table. Amanda is a sympathetic character, but she is also demanding of her children. She instructed Tom, although he is a grown man who supports their family, how to chew his food. Amanda tells a story where she had she received seventeen gentleman callers in a single afternoon. She then asks Laura when Laura's gentleman callers are going to start arriving, and Laura responds nervously that she has none.

Amanda dreams constantly of the long-ago days when she was a young Southern belle. She enrolled Laura in classes at Rubicam's Business College, hoping that a career in business would make Laura self-sufficient. On the way to her D.A.R. meeting, Amanda stopped at Rubicam's Business College, to tell the teachers that Laura has a cold and to ask about Laura's progress. She discovers that Laura stopped attending class...