The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie Drugs and Alcohol Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a big long monologue.
"I think you’ve been doing things that you’re ashamed of. That’s why you act like this. I don’t believe that you go every night to the movies. Nobody goes to the movies night after night. Nobody in their right minds goes to the movies as often as you pretend to. People don’t go to the movies at nearly midnight, and movies don’t let out at two A.M. Come in stumbling. Muttering to yourself like a maniac! You get three hours’ sleep and then go to work. Oh, I can picture the way you’re doing down there. Moping, doping, because you’re in no condition." (3.31, Amanda).
Amanda combines all her fears of bad behavior into her singular fear that Tom will be a man who drinks.
Tom appears at the top of the alley. After each solemn boom of the bell tower, he shakes a little noisemaker or rattle as if to express the tiny spasm of man in contrast to the sustained power and dignity of the Almighty. This and the unsteadiness of his advance make it evident that he has been drinking. As he climbs the few steps to the fire escape landing light steals up inside. Laura appears in the front room in a nightdress. She notices that Tom’s bed is empty. Tom fishes in his pockets for his door key, removing a motley assortment of articles in the search, including a shower of movie ticket stubs and an empty bottle. (Scene Four, stage directions).
Williams uses props to display both that Tom is in fact drinking and that he also was telling the truth about going to the movies.
[with great enthusiasm]: "Try and you will succeed! [The notion makes her breathless.] Why, you - you're just full of natural endowments! Both of my children-they're unusual children! Don't you think I know it? I'm so-proud! Happy and-feel I've-so much to be thankful for but—promise me one thing, son!"
"Promise, son, you’ll—never be a drunkard!"
[turns to her grinning]: "I will never be a drunkard, Mother."
"That’s what frightened me so, that you’d be drinking!" (4.39-4.43, Amanda and Tom).
Just as Amanda ignored the problems of the present by focusing on the past, she similarly blinds herself to Tom’s biggest problems by focusing instead on an absurd fear of alcoholism.