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"The Glass Menagerie" - Remind yourself of Scene 6 and consider to what extent you feel this is a key scene.

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Introduction

Glass Menagerie Easter Work Remind yourself of Scene 6 and consider to what extent you feel this is a key scene. Scene 6 and 7 are both key scenes in the Glass Menagerie as they undoubtedly unearth the character's true personalities, but it is Scene 6 which lays the foundations for the twist in the play. The scene starts with Tom leaning against the grill outside the apartment smoking, which to me seems quite dramatic and movie like - and he describes his strong feelings for adventure in films later on in the scene to Jim. I believe Williams may have placed this at the start as a foreboding almost to what will happen later on in play where Tom finally escapes to his dream world or at least describes his intentions of escaping to a 'dream world'. He then introduces his friend Jim, who to the audience is conveyed as the ideal boy, 'Irish good nature, vitality...star in basketball, captain of the debating club....' And it is clear that Williams' intention is to present an almost seemingly perfect character but that is not the complete picture. The relationship between these two characters is equally beneficial and not so one sided as one would expect due to Tom being quite a loner and extraordinary character. ...read more.

Middle

Williams almost spells out his intentions with the stage direction, 'a colored paper lantern conceals the broken light fixture in the ceiling,' which emphasizes the concept of concealment and how illusion has the appearance of truth and that truth can also come in the 'pleasant disguise of illusion'. Tom's key speech at the beginning of the play can be referred to in so many parts of this play. It is not only the apartment that has come under concealment but Laura as well as we see Amanda crouching before her dressing her in a colored dress 'designed by memory'. Here, Williams sheds hope on the situation if only for a moment with the stage directions 'Laura's hair is changed; it is softer and more becoming'. But, Williams lets this hope linger for simply a second as he continues with 'a fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting' which clearly sets out Laura's fate. She is set for destruction which the adjective 'fragile' conveys and of course the reference to translucent glass which comes into play in the next scene, but, the audience are instantly aware that Williams is showing them that Laura can be concealed as much as is possible but her fragility is ever-present and it will be her downfall. ...read more.

Conclusion

Williams uses the screen legends to represent this as well as the stage directions in 'Laura sways slightly and catches hold of a chair' and the screen legend "Not Jim". The stage direction again emphasizes Laura's shy personality and her fragility in that a boy has the effect of making her faint almost. Her shyness and fear is emphasized even more so when Jim and Tom arrive and she almost cannot open the door and even when she does, she turns for her Victrola, her blanket almost, and she continues to 'wind it frantically' clearly shaken by the ordeal of opening a door to someone she is madly besotted with. Williams doesn't exactly convey that Laura loved Jim but that she 'won't come to the table' if it is indeed the same Jim. The scene finishes on a very dramatic note with Laura collapsing due to her shyness towards Jim 'she is obviously quite faint, her lips trembling, her eyes wide and staring. She moves unsteadily to the table' and if that wasn't enough, Williams adds 'Terror!" as the screen legend and there is an example pathetic fallacy in 'a summer storm is coming on abruptly'. The scene ends with Laura being 'stretched out on the sofa' and attempting to 'hold back a shuddering sob' whilst the others remain seated at the table to say grace which leaves the audience comparing the reality of human life and the ideals in life - represented by religion and Christianity. ...read more.

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