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Group Members: Jakelin Loyola, Adanna Ihenacho Haidi Fouda, Lauren Sullivan, Chelsea Helinski


Analysis of Characters:
external image xiVajQ8ctoE4eS7mOjWA0eESPHhXb-pLMY-fxAuJsGh4cSRn_tpfNjtWUC2PiT47_YHOcwwkZj4K4gXEXSKcVYNjuHgTIvdjYD2Ta-fEWcrDN5sPTQ6CR_o2AA3GoEicLwLaura Winfield
Laura Wingfield is the daughter of Amanda Wingfield and the sister of Tom. She is crippled, not only physically, but mentally as well. With one leg shorter than the other, Laura walks around with self consciousness, not being able to freely live without her image holding her down. Her glass menageries are the only things that help her escape this fear and self awareness, representing her throughout the novel. The characters revolve around her, having her mother blinded by reality and trying to marry her, and her brother whom she tied down with the guilt of leaving her. Her mother is the complete opposite of her, showing openness and confidence. Laura also has minimal education, dropping out of school because of her low self esteem, thinking people judge her all the time for her brace, which was actually unnoticeable. Despite these weaknesses, Laura never became blinded to the reality and the fact that she is crippled. Just like the glass unicorn, she sat beautifully immobile until Jim broke off her horn and she was able to walk fearlessly, finally fitting in with the crowd.


Important Quotations:
Scene seven:
LAURA: Now it is just like all the other horses.
JIM: It’s lost its—
LAURA: Horn! It doesn’t matter. . . . [smiling] I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish!

Tom Wingfield
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ6UPBoLA5qF-Fbo6Sg8UBcc43pM3l5o6BMmk9e1JlWngDakr57Tom is the hardworking son of Amanda Wingfield, who sacrifices his independence to care for her and his sister. As much as he hates his job at the warehouse, Tom knows that his family depends on his paychecks. He is caught between making a life for himself and staying with his family; the longer he stays, the more he feels his dream slipping away. Each night, he tells his family that he's "going to the movies." Leaving his house helps Tom feel as if he's having a break from being imprisoned. When it comes to finding a husband for Laura, Amanda seeks Tom's help. Tom wants to find Laura a husband because it would mean that he would free to go on his own, and when he does, he can't help but feel guilty for using her to his advantage.

Important Quotations:
Tom ends the play with a speech:
"I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. . . . I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. . . . I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!"



Amanda Wingfield
dolly_parton_white.jpgAmanda Wingfield is a devoted and a caring mother. As a mother she exhibits an overwhelming desire to see her children succeed in life. By pushing her children towards success, Amanda sometimes wind up hurting them in the process. For example, Amanda constantly nags to Tom about his work and is strict on what she wants from him. She refuses to accept the reality presented to her and holds her ground until the end. Furthermore, Amanda's perception of Laura's crippled leg and brushing it off as a mere "defect" provides insight on how Amanda keeps clinging onto her delusions on how Laura is not an outcast from society. As Amanda loses herself in delusion and after hearing upon Laura's gentleman caller, Amanda refuses to see the differences between Laura and herself. She is determined to make sure her kids have a future. Yes, she is a compassionate mother however she comes out to be quite the tragic heroine in the end after poor Laura's heart was broken by the gentleman and Tom leaves home.

Important Quotations:
"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!"
"Rise an' Shine!"


Jim O' Connor

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Although Jim O’Connor appears only at the end of the play ( Scene Seven), he plays a crucial role in Glass Menagerie. He is described in Scene Five as, “not too good-looking..covered with freckles and hasn't too much of a nose.” Before scene seven, the situation seemed to revolve around the hopelessness of Laura being able to marry due to her acute inferiority complex; in addition, Tom was not allowed to pursue a real adventure. However, when Jim came into the play, he was the only person who was able to get Laura to open up about how she really felt and give her her first kiss. It seemed as if there was hope, but when Jim revealed that he was engaged to be married, Laura became heartbroken and returned back into her ‘shell’.

Important Quotations:
"Somebody needs to build your confidence up and make you proud instead of shy and turning away and-- blushing. Somebody--ought to-- kiss you, Laura!"
"I wish that you were my sister. I'd teach you to have some confidence in yourself....You just stay here. They're common as-- weeds, but--you--well, you're -- Blue Roses!"
" A little physical defect is what you have. Hardly noticeable even! Magnified thousands of times by imagination! You know what my strong advice to you is? Think of yourself as superior in some way!"
"A world full of common people! All of 'em going to die! Which of them has one-tenth of your good points!Or mine! Or anyone else's, as far as that goes--gosh! Everybody excels in some one thing. Some in many!."



Vocabulary:

Scenes 1 and 2:
1. pg.4 Ineluctably: adv. of Ineluctable: unable to be resisted or avoided; inescapable
2. pg.4 Portiere: a curtain hung over a door or doorway
3. pg.6 Mastication: chewing ( as in the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth)
4. pg.8 Parish: a church territorial unit constituting a division of a district under the pastoral care of a bishop in the Christian church
5. pg.9 Beaux: plural form of Beau: a boyfriend of male admirer
6. pg.10 Maid: a girl or young woman, esp. an unmarried one
7. pg.14 Courting: trying to win the favor, presence, or good will of
8. pg.16 Menagerie: a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition; a strange or diverse collection of people or things
9. pg.17 Operetta: a short opera, usually on a light or humorous theme and typically having spoken dialogue
10. pg.18 Vivacity: (especially in a woman) the quality of being attractively lively and animated


Scene 3:
  1. Martyr: A person who suffers for the sake of principle. (Pg. 20)
  2. Gesticulate: To make hand gestures (or body movements) while speaking or to express something. (Pg. 22)
  3. Insolent: Showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect. (Pg. 22)
  4. Menagerie: A collection of wild animals in captivity for exhibition or a diverse group of people or things. (Pg. 24)
  5. Etruscan: a member of an ancient people of central Italy whose civilization influenced the Romans (pg 19)
  6. Allusion: reference (pg 19)
  7. Matrons: a married woman that has an established social position (pg 19)
  8. Etruscan: a member of an ancient people of central Italy whose civilization influenced the Romans (pg 19)

Scene 4:
  1. Dismal: depressing or dreary (Pg. 35)
  2. Fiasco: failure (Pg. 35)
  3. Endowments: a quality or ability inherited in a person (Pg. 31)
  4. Sheepishly: showing embarrassment from shame (Pg. 30)
  5. Travelogue: a movie/book about the places visited by a traveler (Pg. 26)
  6. Canary: a bright yellow color (Pg. 27)
  7. Motley: incongruously varied in appearance (Pg. 27)
Scene 5:
  1. Demurely: characterized by shyness and modesty; reserved (pg 40)
  2. Cowlick: a tuft of hair that grows in a direction different from that of the rest of the hair (Pg 44)
  3. Supercilious: haughtily disdainful or contemptuous (Pg 45)
  4. Illuminating: informative (Pg 47)
  5. Phonograph: any sound reproducing machine using records in forms of discs (Pg 48)
Scene 6:
  1. Quinine: A tonic (a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being) (Pg.56)
  2. Jonquils: Small daffodil-like plants (Pg. 54)
  3. Incandescent: Intensely bright. (Pg. 60)
  4. Paragon: A model of excellence (Pg. 63)
  5. Vestiges: Remnants (Pg. 64)
  6. Tribulations: A cause of great troubling or suffering. (Pg. 64)
  7. Gaily: In a lively manner. (Pg. 53)
  8. Dogwood: the wood of any (Cornus) tree (Pg 54)
Scene 7:
  1. Ominous:giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen(Pg.93)
  2. Tumultuously:marked by disturbance and uproar(Pg.88)
  3. Perturbation:mental disquiet, disturbance, or agitation (Pg.89)
  4. Gingerly: with great care or caution; warily (Pg.89)
  5. Abashed:ashamed or embarrassed(Pg.87)
  6. Relish: liking or enjoyment of the taste of something (Pg.78)
  7. Reverently:feeling, exhibiting, or characterized by reverence; deeply respectful:(Pg.77)
  8. Gallantry:dashing courage; heroic bravery; noble-minded behavior(Pg.71)
  9. Rhapsodic: extravagantly enthusiastic; ecstatic.(Pg.69)
  10. Candelabrum:an ornamental branched holder for more than one candle. (Pg.72)


Themes:
Gender Roles:
Gender roles play a major role in The Glass Menagerie, Amanda Winfield expects her children to aspire the roles society has mapped out for them. Amanda's traditional outlook seems to stem back to her Southern roots. She expects Laura to be "sweet n' pretty" and to get married. In his mother's eyes, Tom shouldn't settle on working at the warehouse; instead Tom should be taking business classes and have plans of becoming a businessman.

Quote
"Resume your seat, little sister- I want you to stay fresh and pretty - for gentlemen callers!" (Scene 1)

Escaping Reality
The Wingfield family strongly represents the theme of escaping reality. Amanda refuses to admit the fact that her daughter is crippled, saying that its barely noticeable to the eye. Laura uses her glass menageries to keep her mind off the exclusion of herself from society. Tom goes the the movies seeking adventure which he can not experience in his home or work. Resulting from the plainness of their lives and having no father figure in the household, all three of them create an imaginary world for themselves to close out the reality that stood in front of their eyes.
Quote
"I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, form then on, in my fathers footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dread leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches." (Scene 7)


Impossibility of Escape:
In The Glass Menagerie, Tom is conflicted by his inability to escape from an awfully mundane job and his desire to see to have adventures. He feels the burden of being confined in a apartment with his family where he has to look after his mother and his sister. Tom seeks for excitement and new experiences which is the exact opposite of what he was getting from working at the warehouse. In addition, Tom was also a writer who was often chastised by his mother. Tom describes his situation as imprisonment and often times refers back to the foray to show his desperation for freedom.

Quote
"The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these large buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation. The fire escape is part of what we see - that is, the landing of it and steps descending from it."


Inferiority Complex
An inferiority complex, according to wikipedia, “Is a lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to society's standards. As we see in Glass Menagerie, Laura experiences this, but it is also the steering wheel of the the play. Because of Laura’s inferiority complex due to her insecurity of her pluerosis as a child, she was unable to socialize with anyone else other than her mother and brother, which as a result blinded her from experiencing what many other “normal people” would do such as getting married. Her mother constantly forces her daughter, Laura, to get out of her realm of imagination with glass animal figures, not only because her mother pities her, but because she wants what is best for her children. Amanda realizes, that she cannot stay with Laura forever;thus, by giving her a ‘little’ push, it is the best she as a mother can do despite Laura’s acute mental illness. In addition, we also see that her brother is also being affected by Laura’s inferiority complex because he is able to experience a real adventure unless, according to Amanda, Laura is able to support herself by getting married.

Quote:
Tom: “ What do you mean”
Amanda: “I mean that as soon as Laura has got somebody to take care of her, married, a home of her own, independent-- why. then you’ll never be free to go wherever you please, on land, on sea, whichever way the wind blows you.”

Difficulty Accepting Reality
This theme applies mainly to Amanda within the story. Between Amanda and Tom, the theme is in the fact that Amanda will not and cannot accept the idea that Tom's goals in life do not include staying home to support their family. Tom wants to travel and explore the world much like his father. This happens to be the other part of reality Amanda cannot seem to come to terms with. Whether she likes it or not, Tom is, in almost every sense, the spitting image of his father. Then we see difficulty in Amanda's acceptance of Laura's condition. Though Laura's handicap does not necessarily set her back from others in society, it does play a role in how she will interact in the future. Amanda does not understand,rather, she refuses to understand that this condition Laura is in does make a difference and prevents her from confidently getting into relationships.

Quote:
"Laura: I don't believe we're going to receive any, Mother.
Amanda: What? No one-- Not one?...Not one gentleman caller? It can't be true! There must be a flood, there must have been a tornado!"



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Scene Analysis

Scenes 1 and 2:
Scenes one and two encompass Tom's basic introduction to the main characters of the play as well as an introduction to the the main ideas of the play. The opening scene is Tom's present self explaining that the play is based off of memory. With that said the whole play is in this past setting, dreamily lit by a yellowish light. He mentions that certain parts of the play may not be accurate because memory is not always accurate. When we get to the characters we learn a lot about Laura and Amanda. Amanda is the mother of Laura and Tom. Laura is Tom's sister. Laura is also crippled, though her Mother will say otherwise. Amanda is holding out hope for Laura to receive gentleman callers, which at this time would be men looking for a longterm relationship leading up to marriage. There seems to be growing tension within the family based on the conversation between Laura and her mother, "Laura: When I had that attack of pleurosis... Amanda: One thing your father had plenty of-- was charm!"(pg.17-18)

Scene 3:
gm.jpegIn the beginning of the scene, Tom and Amanda have a small quarrel. It begins when Tom tells his mother how much he detests his job and how he wishes to leave it. Amanda attempts to bring Tom down by belittling him; she accuses him of lying to her about going to the "movies." Tom can no longer take his mother's tirades and defends his choices by reminding her that he's the one who pays the bills. This scene marks the beginning of Tom's realization that he needs to stand up to those holding him back.



Scene 4:
external image mother-and-son.jpg
After Tom and Amanda argued in the previous scene, they finally made up when Tom decided to take the initiative and apologize for some of his harsh words. Amanda bursts into tears and eventually calms down. Amanda then expressed her worry at seeing Tom constantly going out late at night to "see movies". Later, Amanda talks to Tom about Laura's future. After Amanda's failed attempt to let Laura socialize with the outside world by enrolling her into a business college, she now begs Tom to find Laura a gentleman caller. Amanda knows that Tom wants to leave just like her husband did but Amanda indirectly reminds Tom that he cannot leave as long as she and Laura depends on him. Eventually Tom agrees to find a gentleman from the warehouse and left. This scene shows Tom will never be able to escape as long as he is bound to his mother and sister. Tom, who seeks adventure and lusts for excitement, cannot see his dream come to reality as long as he stays restricted back home. This scene provides insight to Tom's situation.


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Scene 5:
This scene revolves around a conversation between Amanda and her son, Tom. Throughout their talk, they discuss the new gentleman caller and Laura's condition. This scene expresses the ideals of this society through the mindset of Amanda. "Old maids are better off than wives of drunkards."(44) Amanda asked series of questions to make sure that O'Conner is the ideal man. Actions like her brushing Tom's cowlick down and her questions revolving around the callers position and background show that just being able to provide for a wife wasn't enough to be suitable during this time and for their economic standards. Amanda and Tom's view of Laura also becomes transparent when Tom blurts the reality of their situation saying the crippled condition she has, which they have become blinded to, is a factor that makes her different from the rest of the girls. Not only is her condition a factor that isolates her, but also her shyness and the fact that she lives in her own little world. This scene, considering Amanda's quote "little silver slipper of a moon" exemplifies her unrealistic dream of Laura living a life full of happiness like Cinderella had.


external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQOy27J8XcdYLHr9srDZbYzu5yxPyR3AsQedizDAHX9HMm74P43QwScene 7:
This was the first time Laura was able to talk to someone other than those within her family; that was to Jim O’ Connor. Jim O'Connor seemed to be idolized by Laura who has always seen him as the ‘perfect guy’. She still remembered him from the time they were in high school as the high school ‘jock’ who always had girls clinging onto him, thus it was no wonder why she allowed Jim to kiss her.
Also in this scene, Laura allowed Jim to hold her glass menagerie. Even though it broke,I felt that it symbolized her change as she is started to open up revealing her feelings and what she is thinking.
At the end of the scene. after Jim kisses Laura, he reveals that he is engaged and leaves Laura with the broken unicorn menagerie- her favorite piece. This may represent how after that kiss, Laura felt that a part of her is missing of now gone.
Tom also decides to leave his family and a start his adventure despite him feeling guilty of leaving Laura behind.


Quote Analysis

Tom: "What do you think I'm at? Aren't I supposed to have any patience to reach the end of, Mother? I know, I know. It seems unimportant to you, what I'm doing- what I want to do- having little difference between them!"
When his father left, Tom was expected to take on the role of being the "moneymaker" in the household. From that moment on, he had no choice but to work selflessly in order to provide for his mother and sister. After years of giving, he finally wants someone to acknowledge that he has his own goals in life. This quote is significant because it marks the beginning of Tom finally standing up to Amanda and no longer shoving his dreams and desires to the side.

“Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter,”
This quote was from Tom who spoke these words as he was speaking to his mother about his work at the warehouse. Throughout the book, the reader gains insight that Tom is a man who desires excitement in his life rather than wasting his years in a mundane job. Amanda tries to convince Tom that most men are able to find adventure in their careers, but Tom says that he does not want to be trapped in a job that gives him no satisfaction. This quote is crucial to portraying Tom's true character and his desires.

Laura: “I don't have favorites much. It’s no tragedy, Freckles. Glass breaks so easily no matter how careful you are. The traffic jars the shelves and things fall off them.”
This quote was said after Jim broke her beloved unicorn menagerie. It is unique because it showed her improvement from her inferiority complex as she jokes calling Jim, Freckles. Also, it gives symbolism to the glass menagerie being herself. Indirectly, she is explaining no matter how much Jim will try to change her, her inferiority complex is part of her which she cannot change. Like glass, sue to her pluerosis, she felt insecure due to the sounds of her metal cast though Jim never heard it. She allowed the pluerosis to consume her entire life, shattering her potential. When Jim kisses Laura, and tell her that he is engaged, there was a sense of giving up.
{Laura bends over the candles]
(Tom) “For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles Laura-- and goodbye…”
[She blows the candles out.]

"Tom:...But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without removing one nail. There is a trick that would come in handy for me--get me out of this two-by-four situation!"(pg.27)
This quote was said during tom's recount of his visit to the movies after he had been in a fight with his mother. It shows his true desire to escape his situation. He no longer wants to be confined in the small apartment with his mother and sister. However, one part of this quote stood out and it was when Tom mentioned that the magician got out of the coffin without removing a nail. It was as if Tom wanted to leave without messing up everything before he left, and without the knowledge that he left. He did not want to look back and ever think about the fact that he left.
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Social Concerns:

Deception:
A major concern in the play is deception. In the beginning we are introduced to Amanda, a lovely Southern belle. She expresses her desire to marry off her daughter, Laura. It seems as if she overlooks Laura's crippled state, but in reality she ignores the issue. Amanda acts as if there's nothing wrong with Laura, she often lashes out when her son, Tom, says "crippled" or mentions his sister's state. Throughout the play, Amanda often talks about how many gentlemen callers she had and is always dolling herself up; which is a sign that she can't let go of the past, and still thinks of herself as a young Southern belle. When it comes to her son, Amanda seems to plan out his future for him. She ignores the fact that Tom enjoys going out, drinking, and writing. In her eyes, Tom will become a successful, young business man, although he has expressed and demonstrated that he doesn't want to live that life.

Dysfunctional Family:
The Wingfield family was dysfunctional to begin with. Tom's and Laura's father had left them with no financial support and information of where he is..he just disappeared. The mother, Amanda Wingfield regretted ever agreeing to his proposal claiming that if she hadn't known he was a drunkard, she would not have married him. Thus, it made the audience believe that the father had drinking problems and decided to leave the family to pursue his own adventures. Another way that depicted how the family is dysfunctional, is that Laura is crippled from pluerosis-- one of her leg is longer than the other. She becomes increasingly insecure of this which led to her not being able to finish college and get married. It is bad as it is that the family is poor, so without Laura being much of a help, Tom and Amanda are forced to work extra hard to pay for the bills. Laura’s insecurity leads to Tom’s deprivation of adventure because he has to give up his hope and dreams to take care of his family. Furthermore, Tom starts to drink alcohol, and just like his father, disappears leaving his mother and sister behind.

Social Status:
Social Status is a major concern that was represented throughout this play. Amanda is an individual who takes pride in social status, which eventually leads to her having so many expectations for her children. Amanda is a caring and compassionate mother, but at times her flaws do get the best of her. She fails to see that Tom desires an adventurous life and refuses to admit Laura's flaw of being crippled. Amanda's constant nagging and pushing leads her to sometimes hurt her children unintentionally. Amanda perceives her daughter as having a "defect" which sets her apart from everyone else making Laura "special". However, Amanda fails to see the reality that Gentleman callers hold no interest for Laura and Laura is not a normal girl.
Amanda, who has always lived her whole life as the Southern belle, cannot accept the reversals of her fortune and the shortcomings of her children. Back in the day, daughters of such southern families were raised to take pride in their social status. Women were to marry off to a wealthy man and live a luxurious, grandeur life. This just shows of the women's status in America and what were expected of women back then. The sexism still is present as well as the need to maintain that social position and fit in with the rest of the society. The repercussions of these expectations may just as well lead to unhappiness to the women who marry off for money and the feeling of restriction of having to conform to society's rules.

Conformity:
Conformity plays a role within the Glass Menagerie. Amanda tries to mold her children into characters that would be accepted in their society. With Tom, she tries to suppress his persuit for adventure in order to keep him away from his fathers path. With Laura, her inferiority complex, due to her insecurity of her pleurosis, keeps her away from achieving her fullest potential and getting married. Thus, Amanda pushes Laura to meet gentleman callers so that she will be able to support herself without the help of her mother. This was the base of the overall idea that Wingfield family lived in their own reality

Handicap:
As represented through this play and throughout the time period, being handicapped put a damper on your social life. For Laura this meant that she would never feel comfortable going out to meet new people and never feel comfortable around others. She recalls a time where she had to wear a brace to school and she always felt that it made so much noise.