• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the dramatic impact of Scene One in the Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams uses a vary of dramatic techniques in Scene One

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the dramatic impact of Scene One in the Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams uses a vary of dramatic techniques in Scene One, to encourage the audience to engage in what is truly behind this spectacular play. He uses mood music, lighting, symbolism, language and gesture, contrast in characters and also a screen device. These are very visual to the audience and help them understand what is going on in certain scenes and important moments. The audience see a change in Tom's role at the beginning of the play. Williams uses him as a character and also the narrator of the play. He transfers us from real-time back into his memory of the past events and a good director would choose to do this smoothly in order to give maximum effect. All these techniques that Williams uses form a "plastic theatre", which emphasizes the exaggerated props used on the stage. The first dramatic impact the audience receive from the opening scene is the fact that the play starts at the end. Tom has left the household and has become a merchant sailor. Even though he has achieved the life he has wanted, he still has that emotional attachment to the past and to Laura. ...read more.


It expresses the fact that Tom wants to leave the apartment and live his own free life away from Amanda and her tormenting ways. He feels restricted in the confined space and at that present time, the only escape he really has is the fire escape balcony to their apartment, where he regularly goes out to smoke a cigarette. When we see him here, it creates the impact that he is anticipating his escape from the apartment. On the other hand, the fire escape shows that Laura wants to escape into the apartment. She does not enjoy being in crowds because she is shy and over-exaggerates her slight limp. It relates to her collection and shows that it is her only escape. She turns away from the outside world, as at the end of scene one, she believes that she is "going to be an old maid". Amanda also tries to re-create the past in scene one. She talks about her gentlemen callers and how Laura will receive them too, but Laura is convinced she will receive none. We see Amanda's Southern-living style as she is already preparing for a gentleman caller. One of the most symbolic pieces of prop there is on the stage is the picture of their father. ...read more.


We see her as the person 'in the middle' of arguments as she does not know which way to go and does not want the family splitting up even more. We also see her in this scene get uneasy when the father is mentioned. This triggers the audience to believe that she is still trying to get over the fact that he left them and how big the emotional scar is that was left. A screen device is also included in the stage directions of the play. This has several good dramatic impacts to the play. In scene one, we see the unique effect it has on how the audience can interpret the characters emotions and how it all relates to the past. During scene one, the image of 'O� sont les neiges' appears on the screen device. This comes from a 15th century poet and it praises beautiful women. The title means 'Where are the snows of yesteryear?' and it reminds the audience of Amanda's younger past. Overall, the first scene of The Glass Menagerie has a good dramatic base and sets a good tone for the rest of the play. We get a sound viewing of each of the characters and how they behave, and also the audience get some background knowledge prior to actual acting of Tom's memory. With this, the audience can then settle into the play well and understand what is happening at certain points. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Glass Menagerie section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Glass Menagerie essays

  1. The importance of theatrical devices in the staging of 'The Glass Menagerie'

    "The collection takes up a good deal of my time. Glass is something you have to take good care of," ('The Glass Menagerie', Spoken by Laura, Act 7) She speaks of the collection of glass animals as if they're alive.

  2. The Glass menagerie - 'Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is ...

    (although some of their characteristics may be exaggerated by memory), many of them having been inspired by Tennessee Williams' own life. However, in assessing the degree to which The Glass Menagerie is realistic, we must examine the degree of realism in the very situation portrayed in the play.

  1. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    and responsible for the tragedy that befell them even though she didn't realize it (The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams Analysis of Major Characters). Laura Wingfield, a romantic, who has a physical defect which causes her to limp slightly, and also fragile emotions which cause her to lose herself in a world made completely of dreams (Bert Cardullo).

  2. Relationships in The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams.

    Amanda's dreams reflect her past, Tom's dreams reflect his past and present (he wants them to be his future). This shows us that both of their characters undermine the other. "...the future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret..."

  1. Of the three main characters in Tennessee Williams's 'The Glass Menagerie' Amanda is set ...

    "It's you that makes me rush through meals with your hawk-like attention to every bite I take." Eventually in an ironic statement Amanda pushes Tom over the edge by accusing him of living in a dream world. "You live in a dream, you manufacture illusions!"

  2. What kind of Play is The Glass Menagerie?

    In order for the audience to concentrate on social analysis Brecht used various 'alienation' techniques to prevent them from becoming involved in the story or identifying with the characters. Some of these techniques, the use of a narrator, the use of captions (or legends/screen images)

  1. In the memory play "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, the author is giving ...

    Laura is not only trapped in the sense of not being able to flee from her situation, but is as well physically trapped suffering with her physical defect on her leg which causes her to limp slightly and wear a brace.

  2. Intense emotion in scene 3 of "The Glass Menagerie"

    Tom proclaims his importance to the household however, Amanda refuses to acknowledge the sacrifices Tom has made to provide for his family and his infuriates Tom and further increases the tension.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work