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GCSE: The Glass Menagerie

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

    Due to the relationship between the two men, Tom is protected from the 'other boys in the warehouse' who 'regarded me with suspicious hostility' and Jim simply enjoys the fact that Tom is an eyewitness to his glorious high school days which do not hold as much fun and popularity as the present does. Jim's place in the whole play, despite featuring in only two scenes provides the most entertainment or action. He gives a focus for Amanda, who uses Jim as a way of reliving her past with the gentleman callers.

    • Word count: 1386
  2. The duality of the ever-dreamy Tom Wingfield.

    Amanda, as had been explained by Williams himself, "is not paranoiac but her life is paranoia." A faded southern belle who had a traditional southern upbringing, Amanda can be safely said as one of the most unrealistic characters of the story as she had suffered a drastic economic and social reversal in her life. Although her husband had left her, she often gives the impression as if her husband is merely traveling and will be back, whereupon she praises him one moment and defames him the next. This proves that Amanda lives a life of paranoia, withdrawing from reality into fantasies; often times seeing things that are not there, a confused character of inconsistencies and illusions.

    • Word count: 1738
  3. In Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' the forces of life and love are threatened by death - elaborate.

    This was because Lizzie was willing to sacrifice her life in order for her sister to be cured. Lizzie's love saved Laura's life and prevented death. Despite, the story being about someone alive, trying not to die, the characters can be looked at in a more symbolic nature. Indeed, one may state that Lizzie and Laura are representative of life in general. As life is perceived to be when we are born, the girls are pure, simple and kind. However the vices and trappings of their world (the fruit possibly as opposed to drugs etcetera, see below), come to tempt them in the form of the goblins and their wares, representing death, as it later becomes clear that their final intention death by their fruit.

    • Word count: 1202
  4. To what extent is the glass menagerie about glass? Discuss.

    Images are slightly obscure however room for facial expressions to be seen is allowed. This is an evident reference to glass regarding the plays visual setting whereby the writer's objective of it being illusory is achieved. It can also be said that the characters in the play are somewhat like glass. Studying Amanda, she is passionately reminiscent of her past; "One Sunday afternoon in blue mountain- your mother received seventeen! - gentlemen callers!" "There was young champ Laughlin...Hadley Stevenson...Cutrere brothers...Fitzhugh..." We are reminded of glass's quality of having elements suspended, confined and trapped. Think of a drinking glass, of its solid being.

    • Word count: 1692
  5. Mr. Mullock's Flowers

    She had momentarily forgotten about what she was clutching so tightly to her chest. "Just an envelope," she responded waving the slightly crumpled brown envelope in the air. "Won't keep you then. My regards to Mr. Sanders. Heard his car a while ago. Good day then," he waved making his way to the shed. Laura turned around and walked into her house. She shut the door gently and stood against it. Lessening her grip on the envelope, she gave out a pained moan. The reality of what had just happened began to sink into her.

    • Word count: 1365
  6. "How does Tennessee Williams portray the theme of 'being trapped' in the opening three scenes of The Glass Menagerie?"

    In the first scene Tom acknowledges this fact by saying 'it is sentimental, it is not realistic'. In Scene 1 Tom introduces himself and the play. First impressions of Amanda show her to be over motherly, she chides Tom for smoking too much and telling him 'chew your food'. Tom and Laura are not young, although they live with their mother they are old enough to know how to behave, Tom finds his mother's company hard to get along with. Amanda almost smothers her children, this pushes Tom further away from her when in reality she is probably trying to take extra care of them to ensure they don't leave her like their father did.

    • Word count: 1137
  7. Laura almost always responds to the words and actions of others rather than initiating anything herself. Do you agree with this view of Laura?

    Until this point Laura sits quietly at the table. It could be considered that Laura initiates the change in conversation from Tom's smoking habits, allowing Amanda to repeat the story about her gentleman callers, however Laura only mentions getting the food as a result of her unease at the arguing and possibly to prevent Tom back-chatting their mother anymore. Similarly at the start of scene three, page fifteen, Laura stands in front of Amanda and Tom while they argue 'with clenched hands and panicky expression'. It is possible to forget that Laura is present at all during this scene as she only speaks twice.

    • Word count: 1325
  8. How does David Lean explore the themes of "passion" and "repression" in Brief Encounter.

    Their meetings in the train station are brief which can also be paralleled to the destiny of their relationship (it will be brief; it's doomed). We quite often see Laura and Alec together in the train station tearoom were it is enclosed which signifies that their relationship is too enclosed and momentary. The setting of their relationship in this tea room shows us that their relationship will not last very long as it is very repressed. When Laura and Alec go on one of their dates they go rowing in a boat and they are not constrained in a transient location and they are having fun.

    • Word count: 1403
  9. Heroines Vacillating between illusion and reality in "The Glass Menagerie".

    For Amanda the past represents her youth, before time worked out its dark alchemy. Memory has become a myth, a story to be endlessly repeated as a protection against present decline. She wants nothing more than to freeze time; and she in this mirrors a region whose myths of past grace and romantic fiction mask a sense of present decay.(Bigsby 38) Although Amanda recognizes that their situation is desperate, she refuses to take reality as it really is, as far as it concerns her kids, Tom and Laura. She is unable to accept them as they really are.

    • Word count: 717
  10. Some critics argue that the Glass Menagerie is a tragedy. How far do you agree with this comment?

    The world is looming upon World War II, and America has hit the Great Depression. The whole of the United States is stricken by poverty. Therefore, it is not only the Wingfield family, but indeed all families, who are in this serious situation. To add a little more detailed analysis into the actual characters, I would suggest that they each have their own very serious, almost disturbing problems. To begin, Tom has an unnatural desire to escape, and leave his family, as he feels trapped. Amanda has an uncanny wish to return to her youth as she realises her age is growing, and looming upon her.

    • Word count: 1492
  11. 'A Play Is Not Just Language...'

    which means 'where are the snows' and 'where are the snows of yesteryear?' this emphasises the idea that Amanda is longing for the past. She then begins to tell her children- and judging by Tom's reaction, for the hundredth time- of her youth and her many gentlemen callers and how wonderful her life was. The Glass Menagerie is a very static play, the audience do not leave the two rooms of their apartment and the characters lives are so uninteresting the highest point of the play is when a gentleman comes to the house for dinner.

    • Word count: 983
  12. Some critics say that Amanda (from The Glass Menagerie) is trying to relive her youth. How far do you agree with this comment?

    However, it seems strange to me that, just because she does reminisce her past, we should conclude that she is desperate to return to youth. I would argue that everyone thinks back to the good times in their life, especially if they are having a hard time in their present, as certainly Amanda is doing. I do not agree, therefore, on this fact that she is desperately trying to relive her youth. Indeed, it seems to me that she is simply telling her children the only story she has from her youth.

    • Word count: 1016
  13. The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams.

    She can also be seen as a person who is frustrated and is angered by people who try to stand up to her and fail to comply with her demands. Her name Amanda means "worthy of being loved" conversely it can also mean that if she is deprived of loving regard that she can be a totally evils person, a witch as in Tom's words. For Example" You will hear more, you-", "I'm not through talking to you" the first quote has the word "will" written in italics suggesting that it is said in a harsh voice indicating the dominating effect of Amanda.

    • Word count: 940
  14. "The out come of events in the Glass Menagerie dramatizes the tragedy of indulging in the kinds of behavior and thinking that negate the possibilities of living fully and honestly in the present."

    Later she tells him how costliness of his smoking habit, " You smoke too much. A pack a day at fifteen cents a pack. How much would that amount to in a month? ". Later in the play she also manages to comment on Tom's appearance and how she wished he would take better care of himself in that respect. She also accuses Tom of lying about where he is going at night. When he says that he is at the movies she states that he could not possibly be going to the movies every night, " Nobody goes to the movies as often as pretend to."

    • Word count: 1479
  15. The Glass Menagerie - "Amanda treats Tom unfairly because she is too preoccupied with Laura".

    But in spite of everything Tom does for the family Amanda still calls him selfish and treats him in an unfair way. The following essay will give some proofs and show some situations in which Amanda acts the wrong way and treats him unright. That is the main reason why Tom decides to leave at the end of the play like his father did and follows his own dreams. The first situation in which Amanda shows an unfair treatment occurs in scene three.

    • Word count: 1077
  16. Consider The Criticism That The Glass Menagerie Is A 'Clever Juxtaposition Of Scenes Rather Than A Unified Play'.

    This play, however has no acts, so has no solid structure as such. It is just an arrangement of seven scenes. I believe this was intentional by Tennessee Williams, I believe the structure of the play is symbolic of the structure of the family, it has no real structure and is just an arrangement of people, or if you like, a menagerie. Right from the start in the opening speech of Tom, we are told that the play is a memory play.

    • Word count: 778
  17. 'Amanda is selfish and heartless' How far do you agree with this statement in the light of your reading so far.

    Though this may seem selfish and heartless to what Tom wants for his own life and future, Amanda and Laura are totally dependant on him and it should be his duty to support them. Amanda's domineering character is what suffocates Tom making him want to leave and never look back, 'eat food leisurely, son, and really enjoy it.' Amanda shows a caring and motherly side to Laura, 'resume your seat, little sister.' This shows that Amanda is genuinely worried about Laura ending up single for the rest of her life.

    • Word count: 1237
  18. In the play, The Glass Menagerie, Scene One provides an insight into the events yet to come.

    He informs the audience as to the period in which the play is set, that is the thirties. This helps the audience to better understand and relate to the events to come, and gives an idea of the state of the economy at that time; during the thirties in America, there was great turmoil, and the economy was crumbling. He explains that the play is based on memory and therefore has certain unrealistic qualities about it, including the music and the sentimental lighting. Tom also introduces the other characters; his mother Amanda, his sister Laura, the gentleman caller who will appear later on in the play, and of course their father, the ever absent character who is only seen in a large smiling photograph on the living room wall.

    • Word count: 675
  19. The Garden-Party by Katherine Mansfield.

    brother named Laurie and sister named Jose; wanted to stop the garden party because there was a dead man just outside the front gate; delivered to the poor family of Mrs. Scott the leftover sandwiches, cakes, and puffs from the garden party; also delivers arum lilies to Mrs. Scott ; did not want to enter her house but she ended up going inside; thinks that it was the most successful party Laurie- brother of Laura; warm, boyish voice; tells Laura to go and answer the telephone; finds Laura crying (at the corner of the lane)

    • Word count: 1754
  20. 'Explore the ways in which Tennessee Williams presents the character of Amanda in scenes 1 and 2.'

    Highlighted by over exaggeration for example she comments on Tom's 'Temperament like a Metropolitan star!' this is intensified by the use of stage direction indicating it should be spoken '(lightly).' Immediately Williams presents Amanda as being a highly animated character, and we see that the early conversation revolves around her promoting her as a main character within the play and setting her status for the rest of the story. The way Amanda interacts with Laura demonstrates the delusional aspects of her personality.

    • Word count: 1966
  21. 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
  22. The Glass Menagerie is described by its author as "a memory play" Discuss this view up to the arrival of the gentleman caller.

    The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic. What is very peculiar about his stage directions is how detailed they are. When writing the play, Tennessee Williams has said that he wanted to play and the characters to be precise to his memories, which proves that these memories were held very dear to him and it can be argued, a justification of what happened to his sister, or possibly a way to heal his guilt that haunted him. The stage directions aren't only in depth in the actions of the actors, but also the sentiment of the characters.

    • Word count: 1382
  23. How do the methods used by Lysistrata to accomplish her plight differ from those used by Laura?

    The main success of the Lysistrata's plan is based on exploiting the sexuality of women. She knows that by denying the men/soldiers the thing they want, they will be tempted away from war and allow her to manipulate them. At the beginning of the play she claims that all hope of ending the war lies with the women, which for many of her companions is a surprising idea as they have adapted to the female stereotype that they have been branded with.

    • Word count: 1440
  24. Drama and Theatre studies - The glass Menagerie - By T. Williams.

    Our scene starts with lots of stage directions that truly build up the tension between Tom and Amanda that grows and grows with the silence and the physical distance between them, and is only broken by Tom breaking this strain of characters by saying the first sorry. There is very strong sub- text to the scene that is shown more in the stage directions then in the text. The sub- text being that Amanda was truly hurt by the things that Tom had said to her and is genuinely terrified that she will once again be left another loved one,

    • Word count: 1151
  25. A Phenomenon of Theoretical States: Connecting Crane and Rilke to Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.

    Louis) as "my only library and all of it" (Debusscher 114). Williams stated frequently that "I am inclined to value Crane a little above Eliot or anyone else because of his organic purity and sheer breathtaking power. I feel that he stands with Keats and Shakespeare and Whitman" (Debusscher 114). Additional evidence of Williams� affinity for Crane and Rilke lies in the playwright�s works. Even if indirect references to these poets are eliminated, Crane and Rilke exist directly as epigraphs to Williams plays. Less directly, evidence of Crane can be found in the title of one one of Williams� plays, Summer and Smoke, which comes from Crane�s "Emblems of Conduct."

    • Word count: 6548

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