The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie Family 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.
"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).
Although he is absent physically, Tom and Laura’s father remains an ever-present member of the family.
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).
Tom’s father has failed to fit the traditional role of father in the Wingfield family.
"Honey, don't push with your fingers. If you have to push something, the thing to push with is a crust of bread. And chew - chew! Animals have secretions in their stomach which enable them to digest food without mastication, but human beings are supposed to chew their food before they swallow it down. Eat food leisurely, son, and really enjoy it. A well-cooked meal has lots of delicate flavors that have to be held in the mouth for appreciation. So chew your food and give your salivary glands a chance to function!" (1.6, Amanda).
Amanda takes on an extremely mothering role towards her children, treating them as though they were still young.