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English 1302 - Moss, Betty - Glass Menagerie: Home

Glass Menagerie - Utah Shakespeare Festival

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Tennessee Williams

Welcome English 1302 Students

This guide is designed for Betty Moss's English 1302 students. The resources found in this guide will help you find articles and books for your Glass Menagerie assignment.

Glass Menagerie Assignment


1. One critic has said that The Glass Menagerie shows a series of contrasts between:

 (a) the dreamer and the doer,

(b) the past and the present,

(c) fantasy and reality,

 (d) psychological and physical handicaps

 (e) the desire for escape and the awareness of responsibilities. 

Choose one of these pairs of contrasts, and trace the way it is developed in the play.

2. Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

Many genres of literature utilize symbolism as a way of presenting themes the author wants to convey through his writing. In The Glass Menagerie Williams creates symbols for this purpose. In a well written essay, discuss the effectiveness of symbolism and the manner in which it serves to support the themes in the play.


3. Illusion Verses Reality Among the most prominent themes of The Glass Menagerie is the difficulty the characters have in accepting and relating to reality. Each member of the Wingfield family withdraws into a private world of illusion. 

4. Abandonment The plot of The Glass Menagerie is structured around a series of abandonments.  

5. War and Strife The allusion to Guernica and the turmoil in Spain, compared to the uneasy peace in America, establishes a tense atmosphere as the play's background.  There is symmetry between the uneasy peace of the time period and the uneasy peace in the Wingfield house.  

6. Memory This is a not a play about necessarily remembering what happened, but what might have been.  Memory is faulty.  Memory is selective.  Memory is not reality.  Memory has different meanings for different people. 


7.  Select any character in the play and examine his/her desires, motives for behavior, and relationships with the other characters in the play.


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Eileen Oliver
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