The Glass Menagerie
"Oh, I can see the handwriting on the wall as plain as I can see the nose in front of my face! It’s terrifying! More and more you remind me of your father! He was out all hours without explanation!—Then left! Goodbye! And me with the bag to hold. I saw that letter you got from the Merchant Marine. I know what you’re dreaming of. I’m not standing here blindfolded. Very well, then. Then do it! But not till there’s somebody to take your place." (4.91, Amanda).
Across the alley from us was the Paradise Dance Hall. On evenings in the spring the windows and doors were open and the music came outdoors. Sometimes the lights were turned out except for a large glass sphere that hung from the ceiling. It would turn rather slowly about and filter the dusk with delicate rainbow colors. Then the orchestra would play a waltz or a tango, something that had a slow and sensuous rhythm. Couples would come outside, to the relative privacy of the alley. You would see them kissing behind ash pits and telephone poles. This was the compensation for lives that passed like mine, without any change or adventure. Adventure and change were imminent this year. They were waiting around the corner for all these kids. Suspended in the mist over Berchtesgaden, caught in the folds of Chamberlain's umbrella. In Spain there was Guernica. But here there was only hot swing music and liquor, dance halls, bars, and movies, and sex that hung in the gloom like a chandelier and flooded the world with brief, deceptive rainbows…All the world was waiting for bombardments! (5.10, Tom).
"A fire escape landing's a poor excuse for a porch." [She spreads a newspaper and sits down, gracefully and demurely as if she were settling into a swing on a Mississippi veranda]. (5.11, Amanda).