The Glass Menagerie
Watch the Hepburn film adaptation of the first two scenes and in a 1½ page essay, trace Amanda’s neuroses through scene 1 and 2, using quotes from the play to support your observations. Do not use online websites, as I have read them and Turnitin will catch them! This is a reader response reflection that is based on a close reading of just those two acts in the script. (Be sure to read the stage direction on our online script as well, because it informs and guides actors with respect to Amanda’s actions and motivations.)
LAB 11 – The Glass Menagerie – Amanda
A Memory Play
Amanda Wingfield – mother
Tom Wingfield – son
Laura Wingfield – daughter
Jim O’Connor– gentleman caller
Full Text of the play – https://www.pval.org/cms/lib/NY19000481/Centricity/Domain/105/the_glass_menagerie_messy_full_text.pdf
Katharine Hepburn film adaptation – excerpted scene
The Glass Menagerie is a memory play. The narrator, Tom, speaks to the audience from the present (like Montresor). He’s a merchant sailor and when he sees sparkling light (like Laura’s figurines) or hears music, he remembers with regret the sister he abandoned (like their abusive father abandoned the family) and the mother he blames. Light and music are memory triggers in the play, used to transition from the present to Tom’s memories of the family’s troubled fight or flight dysfunction.
The Glass Menagerie is also a 1-act play. It is divided into seven scenes. In scene 1, Amanda, mother of grown children Tom and Laura, lives in the past when she was young and had many suitors. She needles her as yet unsuccessful children during dinner till Tom, disgusted, leaves the house. In scene 2, Amanda discovers that painfully shy Laura has quit her business college and has just been walking daily so Amanda won’t know she failed. Laura lives in her own world of glass figurines and music to escape her crippling insecurity and physical challenge of one leg slightly shorter than the other caused by a childhood illness.
Read the author production notes before the play. In these notes, Amanda Wingfield is referred to as “a little woman of great but confused vitality clinging frantically to another place and time. Her characterization must be carefully created, not copied from type. She is not paranoiac, but her life is a paranoia. There is much to admire in Amanda, and as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. Certainly, she has endurance and a kind of heroism, and though her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel at times, there is tenderness in her slight person.”
The above character sketch draws a complex person, as are we all. If we add to these notes, the Katharine Hepburn portrayal (YouTube), we see a woman both maddeningly infuriating—observing no respectful boundaries of her children—and feeling pain for her children for no other reason than she wants to see them happy and comfortably set up in life.
Watch the Hepburn film adaptation of the first two scenes and in a 1½ – 2-page essay, trace Amanda’s neuroses through scene 1 and 2, using quotes from the play to support your observations. Do not use online websites, as I have read them and Turnitin will catch them! This is a reader response reflection that is based on a close reading of just those two acts in the script. (Be sure to read the stage direction on our online script as well, because it informs and guides actors with respect to Amanda’s actions and motivations.)
When writing about literature, correct MLA format is required. Quotes from the play to support your analysis and in-text citations of the page on which they’re found are required. A Works Cited page for the pdf of the play found online is required.
Your paper must have correct MLA ID on the top/left and Last name and page number on the top/right of the page, 1” margins, Times New Roman and 12-point font, one double space through the page, meaning there will be no extra space between paragraphs or before or after titles. You must have an interesting or creative title that nods to your feminist view of the reading. Please review the following correct MLA ID.
First name Last name Last 1
30 January 2020
You will notice that there are line numbers in the online copy of the play provided above. You will, therefore, cite (scene.line) for this play. Simply quote a statement or phrase, for example, by Amanda, as follows: “And chew—chew! Animals have secretions which enable them to digest food without mastication, but human beings must chew their food before they swallow it down.” (1.57-61).
The Works Cited page must be on its own final page of the essay. It starts at the top of the page, is double-space, and the second line of every citation is hanging indented. There should be no extra space after the title and all text is plain text. There is no underlining or bold text on our essays.
As always, submit to Turnitin when finished.