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The Glass Menagerie (1945)

af Tennessee Williams

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Amanda, a faded southern belle, abandoned wife, and dominating mother, hopes to match her daughter Laura with an eligible "gentleman caller" while her son Tom supports the family. Laura, lame and painfully shy, evades her mother's schemes and reality by retreating to the make-believe world of her glass animal collection. Tom eventually leaves home to become a writer but is forever haunted by the memory of Laura.… (mere)
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I found this in the Schwules Museum in Berlin, Deutschland along with "Endstation Sehnsucht" ("A Streetcard Named Desire"). I can't remember having read the English-language version of "The Glass Menagerie", although certainly I'm familiar with the play, having been a theatre major at Niagara University and NYU, and having seen at least one version of this play, featuring Katharine Hepburn, on television in the 1970's. My German is intermediate level; I read it and understand it better than I speak it. Nonetheless, I understand written German well enough to have comprehended the main themes of this play, despite my lack of advanced German vocabulary. That being said, I will now review this play as if I had read it in English.

First of all, if you ever become suicidally depressed, question the value of your life and think about ending it all, then remember that you're probably better off than Laura Wingfield, who unfortunately I cannot refer to as a tragic heroine, since being a heroine, even an anti-heroine, implies having an existential, conquering nature (think Brunnhilde or Medea). Unfortunately Laura is crippled emotionally as well as physically, and seemingly afraid of everything; in today's culture, she would probably be committing cybersuicide. I found myself getting angry at Laura and her obsession with her glass menagerie (a 1940's metaphor for obsessive-compulsive disorder); probably because I'm angry at that fear-ridden part of myself. On the other hand, her brother Tom is either purposely unaware, or being insensitive, in suggesting to Amanda that Jim O'Connor come over to the Wingfield's for dinner so that Laura can meet a man. Because unfortunately Jim ends up being engaged to Betty, and therefore will not be able to whisk Laura away to wedded bliss like a knight in shining armour. Thus, according to Tennessee William's perspective in 1945, men are bastards (this is still true today); Tom, Mrs. Wingfield's absentee husband, and even two-timing (at least as Laura sees it) Jim O'Connor also fit that description.

In the end, Laura is the ultimate victim, Tom is the ultimate bastard, and Amanda ss the ultimate overbearing, nagging yet neglectful mother. And yet, I feel sorry for Amanda for having been abandoned by her "no-good man", as Laura was by Jim O'Connor. Laura is William's first "delicate soul" (the next being Blanche DuBois); given that most homosexuals were closeted in 1940's America, Williams, as a gay man, lived vicariously through these women. His male characters, on the other hand, can be brutes (IE Stanley Kowalski, or the kind of guy Sal Mineo or Pier Paolo Pasolini were interesting in meeting). Even though I may sound flippant in this review, I still find "Das Glasmenagerie" to be authentically, heartbreakingly and bleakly tragic. When Laura blows out the candles at the close of the play, it's as if hope is non-existent and she will remain in that house for the rest of her life. The three characters in this play share a hell similar to those of Sartre's "No Exit". I hope anyone who reads this play will be inspired to transcend their fears and live life to the fullest (I know, easier said than done), lest they end up like Tom, Amanda and Laura. ( )
  stephencbird | Sep 19, 2023 |
It's a charming window into the past, but I have to say the meaning of the story escapes me. The best I can muster is that, although Tom needs adventure and to have his own life separate from his family, he will always feel a responsibility for his sister who he abandoned. ( )
  eurydactyl | Jul 20, 2023 |
Cuatro personajes encerrados en el ambiente asfixiante de un piso miserable van desnudando su fragilidad, temores y frustraciones, en unos diálogos cargados de ironía que ponen al descubierto la desesperada lucha por sobrevivir. La madre, Amanda, que añora un pasado más esplendoroso, lucha por arrancar a sus hijos del letargo y el refugio en sueños vanos intentado empujarles hacia un futuro que ella cree más seguro y que pasa, según sus valores tradicionales, por una carrera más ambiciosa para Tom, y el matrimonio para Laura. Mientras tanto, Tom, el hijo, trabaja en una zapatería y mantiene a toda la familia, pasa las noches en el cine y escribiendo poesía, y Laura, la hija, se refugia en el mundo protector de sus animalillos de cristal.
  Natt90 | Mar 27, 2023 |
It was okay. Kind of boring and I don't remember the so smart point it was trying to make. ( )
  ALeighPete | Mar 10, 2023 |
جیم:
چی بود بهش خوردم؟

لورا:
میز بود.

جیم:
مثل اینکه چیزی از روش افتاد؟

لورا:
بله.

جیم:
خدا کنه اون اسب موچیک یه شاخ نباشه.

لورا:
چرا خودشه.

جیم:
ای داد شکست؟

لورا:
حالا مثل اسبای دیگه‌س، دیگه شاخ نداره.

جیم:
مگه شاخش...

لورا:
شکست، عیبی نداره، شاید این یه خوشبختی در حین بدبختیه.

می‌شه گفت کل نمایشنامه‌ی باغ وحش شیشه‌ای توی همین چندتا دیالوگ بیان می‌شه! نمایشنامه‌ی خوبی بود. ( )
  Mahdi.Lotfabadi | Oct 16, 2022 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Williams, TennesseeForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bottoms, StephenRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Bray, RobertIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kushner, TonyIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands. -e.e. cummings
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The Wingfield apartment is the rear of the building, one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population and are symtomatic of the impulse of this largest and fundamentally enslaved section of American society to avoid fluidity and differentiation and to exist and function as one interfused mass of automatism.
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You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it!
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This work refers to separate editions of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Scholarly editions that do contain the complete text of the play, in addition to critical commentary, belong here. Please do not combine with adaptations, movie versions, York notes or omnibus editions that also contain other plays.
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Amanda, a faded southern belle, abandoned wife, and dominating mother, hopes to match her daughter Laura with an eligible "gentleman caller" while her son Tom supports the family. Laura, lame and painfully shy, evades her mother's schemes and reality by retreating to the make-believe world of her glass animal collection. Tom eventually leaves home to become a writer but is forever haunted by the memory of Laura.

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