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GCSE: The Glass Menagerie

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 1
  1. tConsidering the opening two scenes of 'The Glass Menagerie', how effectively does Tennessee Williams use imagery and dramatic devices to suggest the themes of the play to his audience?

    Williams doesn't show the apartment to be desirable but 'dim, grim' and ' murky' with rubbish on the ground. The imagery of the 'dark', sad and 'sinister' unwelcoming apartment suggests the theme of disappointment and the overall unhappiness of each character with their lives. The image he creates is not photographic but a more ' vivid penetrating' expession of what should be there. The apartment is realistic compared to the dreams that they each have. Certain staging such as the fire escape represents an underlying theme too.

    • Word count: 2714
  2. The importance of theatrical devices in the staging of 'The Glass Menagerie'

    Laura is at first paralyzed by Jim's presence, but his warm and open behaviour soon draws her out of her shell. They had a long serious talk but Jim must leave because of an appointment with his fianc´┐Że. Amanda sees him off warmly but, after he is gone, turns on Tom, who had not known that Jim was engaged. The scene ended with Amanda cursing Tom, because her sister will not going to have a married life, causing him to leave The Wingfield Apartment.

    • Word count: 2070
  3. The Day My Life Stopped

    I mean what about my coursework?" "You can keep up can't you?" "No I'll miss so much" Laura said, as she was almost in tears "Well Laura all I can say is it's much better for us out there; we'll have more stability and to be honest we'll be better off financially. Come on just think about it." Laura ran upstairs and phoned Jason. While she was talking to him, she burst into tears. When she finally told him the news, he wasn't happy but he wasn't unhappy with her, he was just upset and a little angry, he

    • Word count: 2457
  4. Discuss TennesseeWilliam's use of imagery and symbolism in The Glass Menagerie.

    Therefore, he is drawn to the fire-escape to be in touch with the outside world and to forget the problems inside. It can be argued that "inside" is full of people who lead unrealistic lives, and that is Tom's reality. This is evident when Tom stands on the fire escape to smoke, showing that he does not like to be at home; to be a part of the illusory world of both Amanda and Laura, which they both find security in.

    • Word count: 2211
  5. The Thing.

    "You need any help out there? Asked his wife Laura "No thanks, im fine. He began his descent up the ladder, heading towards the top roof of the garage. He slipped. "Help" he yelled out with a worrying look on his face which now poured out more sweat." Help" he repeated as his toe hesitantly slipped from the bottom leg and caught the brass knuckle off the tip of the ladder. Unfortunally no one heard him, and his left hand somehow caught the hinge of the gutter, which was connected to the garage roof.

    • Word count: 2249
  6. "Brief Encounter" dealt with the issues of sexuality and desire by using a lot of different techniques.

    a posh restaurant, which is a slightly larger event, then helping someone pick a piece of grit out of their eye, which shows the blossoming love between Laura and Alec. At this time Laura is still feeling guilty about her husband Fred, but as the love between the pair of them (Laura and Alec that is) grows, Laura has less and shows less inhibitions, then at the start of the relationship. They tend to let their emotions run free like two schoolchildren falling in love for the first time.

    • Word count: 2797
  7. In what ways do you think that the dreams of the characters are different from reality and to what extent will they be fulfilled?

    It is just a myth because the play is set in the 1930's, which was the period of the Great Depression. The American economy had collapsed due to the Wall Street Crash, so it would have been virtually impossible for the American Dream to work for someone like Jim. Jim is Tennessee Williams' central focus point of all the characters' dreams as he is "the long delayed but always expected something" that the Wingfield family have been waiting for. He is the most significant character in the play who can be related to the American Dream.

    • Word count: 2046
  8. The Glass Menagerie is one of Tennessee Williams' most eminent works and no doubt qualifies as a classic of the modern theatre.

    Despite being a 'memory play', the basis and content of The Glass Menagerie is truth and reality as Williams' attempts to 'find a closer approach, a more penetrating and vivid expression of things as they are'. This basis of reality is evident in the play's setting, as The Glass Menagerie is presented with great fidelity to the social and historical realities of the time. This is demonstrated from the play's beginning as Tom 'reverses time to that quaint period, the thirties'.

    • Word count: 2527
  9. The Glass Menagerie.

    235), there are significant realistic elements on which the play is based. Williams uses his own past as the basis for his characters and most of the plot. The historical and social background in which the play is set is also realistic and referred to throughout the play. Williams even introduces one character as "...an emissary from the world of reality" (Scene 1, p. 235) into the dream world in which the characters in the Menagerie live, to emphasise how far the characters in the play indeed is removed from it. Therefore the Glass Menagerie is largely memory, but woven around real occurrences, a creation of memory, but based on reality.

    • Word count: 2382
  10. A director of The Glass Menagerie has written that “all four of the play’s characters invite compassion and sympathy from the audience” - To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

    This also evokes feelings of compassion from the audience because it is clear that his hopes and dreams have gone unfulfilled and so the audience feels pity for the situation he is now in. However, these feelings of compassion and sympathy are certainly limited by the fact that he is arrogant, egocentric and self-obsessed "He adjusts his tie in the mirror." This stage direction conveys to the reader that Jim sees himself as handsome and therefore the feelings of sympathy and compassion from the audience are limited by his vanity.

    • Word count: 2186
  11. Some critics believe that the visual and musical effects in 'The Glass Menagerie' are what make it such an effective play. Do you agree?

    The set is unique and is thoroughly described in the stage directions on the first page of the play. "The Wingfield apartment is in the rear of the building...The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape." The fire escape plays an important part in the play because it is how the characters enter onto stage, and it is also the line, which defines Tom playing his remembered character and Tom narrating the play. The stage directions also include that the set also has a down stage and an up stage, this is to help the director when he comes to position the characters.

    • Word count: 2218
  12. Badminton - Observation, Analysis and Evaluation of strengths.

    My serve is overall much more affective than Owens and allot more accurate. Net play My net play is also another strong point to my game. I find my grip very natural and comfortable where as Owens looks very unnatural and uncomfortable as he leaves his index finger pointing outwards. My vision of the game is quite good and I always manage to prepare for the oncoming shot and I always retreat back to the centre after taking each shot this way I find it easier to return to any part of the court and give the opponent less attacking options, this making my footwork at quite a good standard.

    • Word count: 2424
  13. The Fall - Prologue.

    ****** The chatter coming from the halls at PS 118 was deafening. "Hey, you must be new." a tall, brown haired boy called. "I guess I must be!" replied Rachel. "I'm Kurt. I was new here last year." The young man extended his hand. "I'm Rachel." "I think you're in my homeroom. Come on I'll show you the way." Kurt grabbed hold of Rachel's arm and pulled her through the crowds. Kurt sat down and pulled a chair up for Rachel. He couldn't deny, she was pretty cute. Although homeroom Rachel made Kurt laugh telling him about her life.

    • Word count: 2499
  14. How does Tennessee Williams create sympathy for Tom, both as an individual, and as a representative of his milieu? To what extent does Williams' creation of suspense help to convey this sympathy for his audience?

    Williams' father did not desert the family as he did in the play however he deserted the family emotionally. The only man in the house is Tom. He is pressured a lot by his mother to go to work and earn money for the family. The play is set in the twentieth century in the 1930s. The gender roles at this time were the husband would go out to work to earn money for the family and the women would stay at home and act as a housewife. The daughter of the family would be looking for a husband to settle down with.

    • Word count: 2993

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent is the glass menagerie about glass? Discuss.

    "In conclusion, I also think 'The glass menagerie,' is an effective title for the play. The play does reflect on Laura's fragility and necessity to grasp the non-existent world of her animal collection from which she seeks complete refuge. For this to exist, she greatly depends on her mother and brother. The glass menagerie is very important for Laura and ironically her happiness or unhappiness affects the rest. That is to say, if Tom does walk out, it will destroy her fragile glass menagerie, her source of peace and solace. Destroying hers would probably destroy his mental state of peace and solace as well. Perhaps this is the idea the play revolves around."

  • Two books I have chosen to compare are "The Woman in White", by Wilkie Collins and "The Woman in Black", by Susan Hill.

    "I personally enjoyed reading "The Woman in White" more than "The Woman in Black" as it was much more intricate and surprising whereas in "The Woman in Black", I thought it was quite predictable and had a simpler plot. "The Woman in White" had many characters that were all different and carefully described but the characters in "The Woman in Black" were not, in my opinion, as realistic or believable. I did not think that the characters in "The Woman in Black were as believable as the characters in "The Woman in White" as the characters from "The Woman in White" were intricately described and although the complex descriptions can be tedious to read, the reader does gain a more detailed view of the characters."

  • A director of The Glass Menagerie has written that “all four of the play’s characters invite compassion and sympathy from the audience” - To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

    "In conclusion, I agree this far that the character Laura, from a director's point of view, is the character that invites the most compassion and sympathy from the audience. However, an actress playing Laura may feel that Laura does not because they would have experienced Laura from a different perspective. Experiencing the performance of the play myself, I can imply that Laura evokes the most compassion and sympathy out of all four characters but Tom also evokes to a similar extent these feelings by the way he explicitly expresses his unhappiness to the audience."

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