Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Glass Menagerie (3-66)

Perhaps it's just me being me again, similar to the poetry assignment a little while back, but I struggle to find much interpretive meaning in this play as I read. I have a hard time relating to these characters because nobody in my life has ever been like any of them. Nor do I know of anyone in Tom's situation, having to live day to day working a boring, dead-end job because its the only way to support his mother and sister, and coping with it by smoking and drinking and going out to watch movies all night.

Honestly, all I can really come up with are a few random interjections. For instance, I believe it would help to establish the mood if I ever knew what some of the music was that the author has playing at certain parts in every scene. Its one thing to look them up and know what they are, but I need to know what they sound like. Anyway, I noticed the "Glass Menagerie" music always seems to play when Laura is feeling sad or lonely like at the end of scenes 1 and 3. And it came up a few times, but I never really understood how Laura is crippled. I suppose the author never really says, but I am interested to know how. I also thought the author seemed to write almost from personal experience. He seems to add a lot of opinions into some of the scene introductions, and randomly throughout the play such as "one of those dreadful cloche hats that were worn in the late twenties" and "one of those cheap or imitation velvety-looking cloth coats with imitation fur collar" from the scene two introduction. Its almost as if he is recalling these events from his own memory.

I do think that if I were the father, I would have left Amanda too. All she cares about is money, appearance and social status . She is a typical southern bell, a debutante. And she loves to micro-manage Tom and Laura's lives. I had a friend growing up whose mother loved to micro-manage and it was about the most annoying thing in the world.

Scene 3 is particularly intense, but it highlights what made the father leave. Amanda is trying to live through Laura. She is so caught up in Laura going to school because she feels guilty that she didn't herself. Then when that doesn't work out she gets caught up in the need for Laura to come into money via a husband because that's what she tried to do, and maybe that is all she knows how to do. Unfortunately, Laura is the one who allows her mother to control her the most, but she is nothing like her mother. Tom is like his father, with the drinking and the need for adventure. He doesn't like his mother's controlling ways and all he wants to do is get out, and he declares that to Jim in scene 6.

I am interested to see the outcome of this play. I want to see if it all comes together the way I expect it to. I am foreseeing a few major epiphanies for some of the characters, but I guess that remains to be seen.

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