Die Glasmenagerie : ein Spiel der Erinnerungen

by Tennessee Williams

Other authorsJörn van Dyck (Translator)
Paperback, 1987

Status

Available

Call number

HU 9484 G548

Collection

Publication

Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl., 1987.

Description

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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
With multiple readings, I've learned to appreciate this book for character, theme, and language, but it's still nowhere near a favorite. It is fairly melancholy, and somewhat depressing without a great deal to balance it out. At the same time, this is one of the few works where I've enjoyed the
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reading more than the stage-production. When I've seen it, it seems that the narration and themes beg for directors to play with different forms of presentation rather than sticking with a fairly simple set and idea, which in the end has hurt the meaning of the work for me personally. I'd recommend reading it at some point if you're interested in literature or unique characters, but plan for something a bit more uplifting afterward. I will say that it's one of those works I'd take out of the highschools if I could, since I'd rather we be encouraging students to read as opposed to fostering the belief that all good literature has to be depressing as well.
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LibraryThing member StephenBarkley
The Glass Menagerie is a good mirror. It accurately reflects the selfishness of society.

That's not to say that it's enjoyable—far from it! The dysfunction of the Wingfield family is painful to read. Whether it's Amanda's life in the past, Laura's agonizing inability to interact with people, or
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Tom's overt selfishness, each character brings something heartbreaking to the story.

As with all of Williams' plays, the symbolism runs just as deep as the character development. This is the sort of story you can mull over for a while.

Williams did a fine (and semi-biographical) job in revealing the results of a life lived only for oneself.
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LibraryThing member ALelliott
What seems like a simple story of her mother and her two children slowly unfolds as a devastating psychological drama. Amanda Wingfield lives with her two children, Tom and Laura, in a crummy little apartment in St. Louis during the 1930's. Mr. Wingfield is long gone, but the shadow of his presence
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still lingers. Tom is unhappily supporting the family by working at a warehouse, while Laura is a "home girl," one so nervous and shy around strangers that one session of a business course makes her sick to her stomach. Amanda Wingfield is still caught up in her memories as a Southern belle, and decides to get Tom to introduce Laura to a fellow from the warehouse, so that Laura can get her own taste of that same feminine glory. The gentleman caller turns out to be Laura's high school crush, and at first she is so overwhelmed that she has to retire to the couch. Eventually, Laura and the gentleman caller get to now each other a little better, but as with all Williams's plays, nothing is as it seems.

This is a great play for teens to read because they will be able to strongly identify with Laura and Tom. Both have dreams of other lives; Tom wants adventure and intrigue, while Laura lives in a fantasy world of her glass menagerie. But Amanda is constantly demanding that they mold to her idea of them, an idea which itself does not have much root in reality. At the same time, they will learn more about another point of view, as Amanda expresses her disappointment with her station in life without ever saying it out loud. This play is wonderful because so many layers are revealed without any anvils being dropped.

The language and diction should not present any problems for most high school students. What they will need is guidance and scaffolding, so they can receive all the subtle messages the play has in store for them. As with any drama, seeing a live performance, or at least the film, in conjunction with reading the manuscript, is highly recommended.

For ages 15 and up.
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LibraryThing member Biblio_Manic
I thought this was rather good, except I found the whole screen displaying things kind of odd...
LibraryThing member KendraRenee
SO good. this just might convince me to like and read more plays. the characters are so real--even just on paper, before they're translated onto a stage or into the screen. god i could've so easily been an english major, if this is what i do for fun in my free time...
LibraryThing member TakeItOrLeaveIt
a great american play. old fashioned but memorable.
LibraryThing member kellyholmes
I read this in high school and loved it!
LibraryThing member dferb
I re-read this for a student/parent book night at school. It's been a long time since I first saw a performance of this play, and even longer since I read it. I think it was much more powerful this time around. Williams' stage directions are brilliant, and the theme of lost dreams and
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disappointment are still relevant. The freshmen students all identified with the children, and the parents identified with the mom. A great choice for this event.
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LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
With multiple readings, I've learned to appreciate this book for character, theme, and language, but it's still nowhere near a favorite. It is fairly melancholy, and somewhat depressing without a great deal to balance it out. At the same time, this is one of the few works where I've enjoyed the
Show More
reading more than the stage-production. When I've seen it, it seems that the narration and themes beg for directors to play with different forms of presentation rather than sticking with a fairly simple set and idea, which in the end has hurt the meaning of the work for me personally. I'd recommend reading it at some point if you're interested in literature or unique characters, but plan for something a bit more uplifting afterward. I will say that it's one of those works I'd take out of the highschools if I could, since I'd rather we be encouraging students to read as opposed to fostering the belief that all good literature has to be depressing as well. Even now, I finish the work with more disappointment and left-behind expectations than appreciation, as I simply want more.
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LibraryThing member brown.trout
It's really amazing. It left me hanging to the end.
LibraryThing member beckykolacki
This is technically a play, but since it is a piece of literature that I love I decided to put it on this list. If I had a list of my favorite plays of all time, this would be at the top. Though Tennessee Williams is probably more well known for A Streetcar Named Desire, and that would be
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considered his best work, I have to favor The Glass Menagerie. The plot follows the Wingfield family, living during the 1930′s and the Great Depression, in a small apartment in St. Louis. The son, Tom, is 22 and itching to get out of there and get a life of his own. His sister, Laura, is a painfully shy cripple content to play with her glass animals all day. Their mother, Amanda, is a controlling, highly emotional woman trying to relive her past, who claims she only wants what is best for her children. Needless to say, this leads to a highly volatile family life. All of the characters feel so real, especially Tom, and some of his lines just cut right through you because they’re full of so much meaning and truth. There is so much beautiful symbolism here (blue roses, the fire escape) and just so much literary excellence. The ending is not completely tragic, there is a glimmer of hope for Tom, but overall the play is certainly tinged with sadness – though there are occasional humorous moments.
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LibraryThing member 4sarad
I didn't like it much. I'm just not a fan of quick stories like this. Sure, this was a very pivotal moment in the man's (or, family's) life/lives, but really I don't care unless I know more about them. I want more of the before and after.
LibraryThing member emanguno
Must read/see play. This is what modern American drama is all about. The video versions offer an opportunity to compare John Malcovich and Sam Waterston in the role of Tom.
LibraryThing member Hantsuki
I have to be honest. I missed the spice I got from A Streetcar Named Desire, but it's understandable because this particular play is more of a reflection of Williams's life. I did find the use of the screen in the background to be interesting, much like a Greek play with a chorus to comment on the
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play itself. But by using the "screen" that shows words and images at certain times, I believe Williams was aiming for a melodramatic effect and by doing so, sort of add a touch of humor to a dark situation. I really felt like this play was a long read even though it was relatively short. Maybe I'll appreciate it more if I read it one more time later, but for now, this play was kind of a bore.
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LibraryThing member MissBoyer3
Amanda Wingfield, the matriarch of "The Glass Menagerie," always tells her daughter, Laura, that she should look nice and pretty for gentleman callers, even though Laura has never had any callers at their St. Louis apartment. Laura, who limps because of a slight physical deformity, would rather
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spend her time playing with the animals in her glass menagerie and listening to old phonograph records instead of learning shorthand and typing so she can be employable. When she learns Laura has only been pretending to go to secretarial school, Amanda decides Laura must have a real gentleman caller and insists her son Tom, who works at a shoe factory, find one immediately. After a few days, Tom tells Amanda he has invited a young man named Jim O'Connor home for dinner and at long last Laura will have her first gentleman caller.
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LibraryThing member SoonerCatholic
Setting: This play about moving forward is set in an apartment in St. Louis during the 1930s.

Plot: Amanda attempts to find a suitor for her shy daughter Laura.

Characters: Tom (protagonist) goes to movies, ultimately leaves; Laura- shy, fragile, owns glass collection, Amanda (antagonist)- flighty,
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unintentionally cruel; Jim- nice ordinary young man

Symbols- blue roses, picture of father, glass collection

Characteristics: a play about the need to be aware of the present

My Reaction: I thought the message of the play was true but hearing the satire detracted from its meaning.
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LibraryThing member Carmenere
I'm not sure if I've ever met a character anymore loathesome as Amanda, the controlling, caught in her southern ingenue past mother of Laura and Tom. She never shuts up, she's tiresome, probably drove her husband away and subtley stifles her children.
Laura, a retiring, nervous young lady, attempts
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to find a way out but how can she ever live up to the expectations of her mother, she looses herself and find solace in her glass collection. Tom, is in a low end, deadend job and dreams of joining the merchant marines, he finds solace and looses himself in going to the cinema. Just when you think a dinner guest might change the situation, it's time to guess again.
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LibraryThing member deep220
The Glass Menagerie is a story of longing and frustration. The story is narrated by Tom, who hates his factory job and desires to run to sea but he is trapped being the main support for his mother and sister. Amanda, the mother, is desperately disappointed by the outcome of her life. She clings to
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her past as a southern belle who had the eye of society and all the interests of the most eligible young men. Instead of a senator or plantation wife, her husband left her. Laura, her daughter is more trapped by her paralyzing self-consciousness then her slight disability. We see Amanda pain her daughter with the wistful talk of gentlemen callers and pins her hopes on the singular visit of Jim. Resulting in further desperation and loneliness. I was drawn into the play by the emotions shown so clearly by each character. The hope that one has in life and the entrapment we all feel by decisions of our own making. This story definitely pulls at your heart strings and is a message everyone can relate to.
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LibraryThing member FieryNight
blech. (read it for school, right after reading Inherit the Wind, which I loved)
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
A true classic. This is a phenomenal piece for analyzing character development; the characters are that amazing and realistic.
LibraryThing member micahmom2002
reread this. read it before in high school and wondered if I might appreciate it more as an adult and avid reader. Still not sure if I did.
LibraryThing member miyurose
Plays are a little outside of my usual purview, but my book club was reading this so I wanted to give it a shot. It’s short and sweet, and beautiful in its simplicity. There is a lot of symbolism, and Williams attempted things that really weren’t done at the time, such as the use of projected
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images. There is also a probable autobiographical component to the story. It’s not a happy story, but it definitely has something to say. A play I would enjoy seeing in person.
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LibraryThing member Sarah-Kay
In Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Glass Menagerie”, the theme of escape is shown through the characters of Amanda, Laura, Tom, and Jim. In the book the characters are faced with many ordeals, and find themselves incapable of handling the real world. Amanda, Tom, Laura, and Jim, use their own
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methods to escape the harshness of life and even in dealing with every day ordeals. Each character has a different flaw they use to cope with the reality of life. Amanda, the mom, is preoccupied with living in the past. A quote in the book shows Amanda’s escape through living in the past, which indicates she has not moved on and cannot face the reality of life. She constantly tries to convince herself that her daughter, Laura, is just a little different and she wants nothing but happiness for her. Williams illustrates the character of Laura to be fragile. There are two major escapes Laura refers to when she does not think she can handle them. Laura is unable to accept reality. She escapes reality and returns to her fantasy world through her old records and glass animals. Laura also escapes from normal every day events, such as attending a business class and being reacquainted with Jim, by becoming ill feeling to overcome this insecurity. Tom, the main breadwinner of the house also escapes many times during the play. His main escape involves numerous trips to the movies instead of being at home in the apartment. As more family issues occur, his escape to the movies become more frequent, which increases his drinking and staying out all night. While on his escapes, Tom searches for adventures and excitement. Once Tom escapes for good, like his father, it was not the true escape he expected. A character, Jim, enters late in the play after being invited to dinner by Tom. Jim briefly became a prospect for Laura but soon it is revealed that he is the guy she had a crush on in high school. Jim is a character of manipulation; he uses his high school legacy as a means of escape. As Jim is reminiscing through their old year book, he decides to sign Laura’s yearbook with gratitude. All the characters in “The Glass Menagerie” share a common theme of escape.
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LibraryThing member TomWingfield
An OK-written play, not my favourite of Williams'. Amanda is quite a character--vivacious and eccentric, she comes alive on the page. I enjoyed the dynamics of the relationship between her and her son, Tom.
LibraryThing member br13wivan
Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is an extremely well written play. This was evident in the avid symbolism that ran throughout it, and specifically the placing of the symbols. They themselves were clever, but it’s astounding when they come to light and one sees the extensive foundations that he
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had laid out to prepare them and fit them in! It seems to be by far one of his best works.

The story follows a family of three: the mother, Amanda, who’s husband has left her and worries for her family’s future, considering her lack of skill and her childrens’ lack of success. The daughter, Laura, a young girl who dropped out of college and has always been self-conscious and shy because she is “crippled” (one of her legs is shorter than the other). She doesn’t seem to have any talent and spends most of her time listening to records and polishing her collection of glass animals. And finally the brother, Tom, who’s stuck working at a warehouse to support his mother and sister when all he really wants to do is be like his father and run off looking for adventure (in his case, the Merchant Marine). Basically, Amanda asks Tom to find a suitable guy for Laura so she can have somebody to support her. He does this, and brings him over for dinner. But there’s one problem: the guy is her old high school crush! This makes for... an interesting night, at least.

There was one problem with the play. This play even resembles Jack London’s book Martin Eden because they both share this problem! It’s that they both lull one into a sense of security: the end’s in sight, and you’re pretty sure that you know what’s going to happen, right? Wrong. The story suddenly takes a violent (not literally violent) twist into the unexpected and leaves everybody involved (the reader included) in a sort of confused, unsatisfied stupor. Common reviewing rules prevent me from telling what happened exactly, but it’s very disappointing. Seeing as this was technically a preventable plot device on the author’s part, he will not get let off easily. He will, however, get 4.5 stars. As annoying as that was, he made the rest of it worth it.
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1945

ISBN

3596271096 / 9783596271092
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