The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie Introduction
In A Nutshell
The Glass Menagerie is a play first produced in 1944. The author, Tennessee Williams, was launched into fame and made victim to the forties’ equivalent of literary paparazzi because of it. The play revolves around a young man begrudgingly supporting the family his father has abandoned. It also features a painfully shy and slightly crippled sister character, whose preoccupation with a collection of glass animals draws her away from reality. Set against the backdrop of the Depression, the family struggles together with the past, the future, and one another.
Why Should I Care?
OK, so you never lived in the Great Depression. We didn’t either. Or abandoned your family for Jolly-Roger-style adventure. But have you ever called your mother a mean name in the heat of the moment? Or tried to live your own personal life but gotten hassled about it?
So you can totally appreciate Tom’s situation. We mean, the guy is twenty-one and stuck in a little apartment with a mother who won’t let him drink and a sister who is desperately single. Can you imagine trying to juggle all that? Toss in dreams of being a writer, the fact that your father abandoned you, and a boring job in a shoe warehouse. The point is, things suck for Tom. But at the same time, he really has an obligation – the family will completely suffer without him. Pretty compelling, if you ask us.