Outline Some Questions first The Three Characters and their Dreams Efforts
Questions about the Family Is Laura “a mere pitiable object of compassion”? Is she only active in trying to bring the family together? How does Amanda feel about her husband? Is Amanda’s nagging completely unreasonable? Does Amanda try to keep Tom forever? Where “might” Tom’s narration be unreliable?
Laura Shows her tender understanding of her family members and others e.g. lets her mother talk about the past (1443); cannot face the mother’s suffering look (1447); cries over her brother’s unhappiness; e.g. understands that the popular girl (in her high school) is not sincere. Tries to keep them together (1453) Stumbles on the fire escape (1453) – Her physical and social limitations (1462--parallel) Tom feels for her in the past and in his narration (e.g. 1453, 1451) --maybe because of her weakness, but how about us? See scenes 6 & 7
Amanda and her Husband (1) 1448 (II): believes in his charms 1455 –self-sacrifice (after making up with Tom) I know your ambitions do not lie in the warehouse, that like everybody in the whole wide world - you've had to make sacrifices, but - Tom - Tom - life's not easy, it calls for - Spartan endurance ! There's so many things in my heart that I cannot describe to you ! I've never told you but - I loved your father.... TOM [gently] : I know that, Mother.
Amanda and her Husband (2) p. 1457 – A tries to talk Tom out of smoking her sense of tragedy: 1) The only thing to emulate: the care he takes of appearance; 2) Tom’s smoking too much. The money can be used on a “night-school course” “I’d rather smoke” AMANDA [sharply]: I know! That's the tragedy of it. [Alone, she turns to look at her husband's picture.]
Amanda and her Husband (3) Suffers from having an irresponsible and alcoholic husband p. 1460 –about the father’s drinking Amanda asks if Jim drinks: AMANDA: Tom, he - doesn't drink? TOM: Why do you ask me that? AMANDA: Your father did! TOM: Don't get started on that ! P. 1461 – about how to her “tragic mistake” TOM: Then how did you happen to make a tragic mistake ! AMANDA: That innocent look of your father's had everyone fooled ! He smiled - the world was enchanted ! No girl can do worse than put herself at the mercy of a handsome appearance ! I hope that Mr O'Connor is not too good-looking. Self-contradictory: She hopes that Jim is not downright homely either.
Amanda and her Irresponsible but Charming Husband Tolerates him Shoulders the responsibilities (contradictorily) Remembers his charm Tries to avoid getting Laura someone like him.
Amanda and Tom’s conflict She tries to retain the elegance and glories of the past (e.g. p. 1458) She is religious, conventional and limited She is practical She believes in self- sacrifice, but she does not expect Tom to do so forever (1456) How else can she survive? his manners – how he eats and speaks His reading D.H. Lawrence his “going to the movies” (1450-51—1452; 1462) his smoking (1457) His sense of burden
Reality vs. Dreams Reality: [DANCE MUSIC: 'ALL THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE !'] [for bombardments] Paradise Dance Hall Berchtesgaden (a military zone) and Chamberlain (UK prime minister) – ”waiting for bombardments” Amanda’s and Tom’s Dreams: (pp. 1457-58) A fire-escape landing's a poor excuse for a porch. [She spreads a newspaper on a step and sits down grace and demurely as if she were settling into a swing on a Mississippi veranda.] What are you looking at? Moon – Tom’s a secret to Amanda, but Amanda’s— knowable. Laura’s // Tom’s ( 1462 ) Tom -- She lives in a world of her own - a world of little glass ornaments, Mother.... AMANDA [sharply]: Where are you going? TOM: I'm going to the movies. [Out screen door.]
The Family Members Each of them make their efforts (Laura’s keeping peace, Amanda’s getting Laura a caller, Tom’s working in the warehouse) Emotional ties as well as burden, or pressures on one another
Tom’s Memories Shown thru’ Stage Directions Sympathetic – e.g. 'Où SONT LES NEIGES'. Blue Roses, 'THE CRUST OF HUMILITY' and Glass Menagerie (music and legend) Ironic -- MUSIC UNDER: 'AVE MARIA‘—when Tom is about to make up with Amanda; ANNUNCIATION. Obsessed– what haunts him—appear far before the actual line 'YOU THINK I'M IN LOVE WITH CONTINENTAL SHOEMAKERS?' 'PLANS AND PROVISIONS'