The Glass Menagerie
"A blown-up photograph of the father hangs on the wall of the living room, to the left of the archway. It is the face of a very handsome young man in a doughboy's First World War cap. He is gallantly smiling, ineluctably smiling, as if to say "I will be smiling forever." (stage directions, Scene One).
There is a fifth character in the play who doesn't appear except in this larger-than-life-size photograph over the mantel. This is our father who left us a long time ago. He was a telephone man who fell in love with long distances; he gave up his job with the telephone company and skipped the light fantastic out of town…
The last we heard of him was a picture postcard from Mazatlan, on the Pacific coast of Mexico, containing a message of two words: "Hello - Goodbye!" and no address. (1.1, Tom).
"Listen! You think I'm crazy about the warehouse? [He bends fiercely toward her slight figure.] You think I'm in love with Continental Shoemakers? You think that I want to spend fifty-five years down there in that - celotex interior! with-fluorescent-tubes! Look! I'd rather somebody packed up a crowbar and battered out my brains-than go back mornings! I go! Every time you come in yelling that Goddamn 'Rise and Shine! Rise and Shine!' I say to myself, 'How lucky dead people are!' But I get up. I go! For sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self-self's all I ever think of! Why, listen, if self is what I thought of, Mother, I'd be where he is-GONE! [He points to his father's picture.] As far as the system of transportation reaches!" (3.34, Tom).