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Staging implications which make 'The Glass Menagerie'.

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Introduction

In this essay I will be looking at the staging implications which make 'The Glass Menagerie'. A playwright called Tennessee Williams in 1945 wrote this play. He was born in 1911 and grew up as an American playwright whose dramas portrayed loneliness and the isolation of life. 'The Glass Menagerie' is a story about the narrator, Tom, who recreates the memories the memories of his sister Laura and his mother Amanda. Laura, often in the story, escapes into a fantasy world of old phonograph records and the glass animals in her 'menagerie'. Amanda's harsh practicality is balanced by romanticised memories of her Southern girlhood. Tom dreams of adventure and finally runs away from his family to join the merchant marines. According to Tom, 'The Glass Menagerie' is a memory play the whole story is shaped and based on what he remembers from his past. The play's lack of realism (no props) and its frequent use of music are all due to its origins in memory. The scene at the dinner table for example where they are using their imagination for the cutlery and food are products of the imagination that must convince their audience that they are something else by being realistic. ...read more.

Middle

Louis. In the stage directions Tennessee Williams draws a vivid picture of the place. It's cramped and dark, almost like a jail cell. You can't tell it apart from the thousands of other apartments occupied by people trapped in dull and joyless lives. No one in the family wants to live there. But poverty forces them to. This is why "escape" is a major theme in the play. In the apartment there are the usual rooms and the fire escape, which Tom uses to enter and exit the place. There is a smiling photo of Mr. Wingfield displayed on the wall. It is strange that Amanda, who constantly ridicules her husband, keeps it there. Perhaps Amanda keeps the photograph as a remembrance from her past. To may see it as a reminder that escape is possible since his father did it. Tennessee Williams says the screen is used for, '...bearing images or titles' and the purpose of it is to, '...give accent to certain values in each scene' The screen is used to emphasise the importance of something referred to by the characters. It is one of the play's most unique stylistic features is the use of an onstage screen on which words and images relevant to the story are projected. ...read more.

Conclusion

The glass unicorn in Laura's collection-significantly, her favourite figure-represents her strange character. As Jim points out, unicorns are "extinct" in modern times and are lonesome as a result of being different from other horses. Laura too is unusual, lonely, and doesn't seem to fit in with the life she lives. The event involving the glass unicorn personifies what happens to her in scene seven. When Jim dances with and then kisses Laura, the unicorn's horn breaks off, and it becomes just another horse. Jim's advances contribute to Laura's 'change', making her seem more like just another girl, but the violence with which this 'change' is thrown upon her means that Laura cannot become normal without somehow shattering. Eventually, Laura gives Jim the unicorn as a "souvenir." Without its horn, the unicorn is more appropriate for him than for her, and the broken figurine represents all that he has taken from her and destroyed in her. I have come to the conclusion that the staging implications of 'The Glass Menagerie' are the foundation of which this play stands on. Because it is a play this is clear because it is a play we can also read what the screen devices show and see when the lights change, for example, and for what reasons. The music, light and screen give us an idea of how the play is set up and sets the mood of the whole scene. ...read more.

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