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Consider The Criticism That The Glass Menagerie Is A 'Clever Juxtaposition Of Scenes Rather Than A Unified Play'.

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Introduction

Consider The Criticism That The Glass Menagerie Is A 'Clever Juxtaposition Of Scenes Rather Than A Unified Play' * Structure Of The Play * Chronological Development * Static Nature * Possibilities As A Memory Play * In Terms Of A Unifying Elements: -Set -Motifs Of Father And Gentleman Caller The Glass Menagerie is often criticised as a juxtaposition, or arrangement of scenes, rather than being a traditional unified play. I believe this criticism is a correct one for many reasons. A major reason which fuels this criticism is the lack of acts. In Shakespearian plays there are traditionally 5 acts, with the play being divided into roughly two halves, the build up of problems and then the solving of these problems. More modern plays usually have 3 acts, which nicely divides the play into three parts, the build up of problems, the climax, and the solution of problems. ...read more.

Middle

A large theme in this play is static. The set rarely changes, so is static. Tom finds his job static, as he wants to escape from it. In this play there is a continuing theme of people being stuck in time. Amanda is stuck in the past with her fond memories of Blue Water, where she used to live and was very obviously enjoying life. We can tell that she is stuck in the past because she often recounts her stories to Tom and Laura. Oppositely there is Tom who is tired of the present and past and is stuck in the future. He often visits the movies to see glimpses of what his future could be, rather than what it is going to be if he stays at home. He wishes for adventure and excitement rather than the cage or trap that he is stuck in at home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again the theme of static comes with the play's stage directions. Tennessee Williams gives so many heavily detailed stage directions that he gives the people performing the play less and less room to create or add things of their own. This makes the performers static in their input to the play. Leading back to the theme of static, the set remain static for virtually all of the play. The only thing that changes is when Amanda glosses the house up with the new lamp and curtains etc. There is also the on stage screen which acts as a link between the abstract thoughts of the characters, and the thoughts of the audience. The on stage screen barely ever mentions the future however, which again backs up the static nature of the play. So in conclusion I believe that the criticism mentioned in the title is correct, because of the static nature of the play, the fact it's a memory play, and also the lack of an overall structure. ...read more.

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