The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
Tom Wingfield Timeline and Summary
- Tom introduces himself as the narrator and explains the memory nature of the play.
- He gives the background info about his father having left them.
- He fights with his mother at the table.
- Tom hangs out on the fire escape and discusses his mother’s desire for his sister to be a house wife.
- Tom argues with Amanda about his reading Lawrence and going to the movies.
- He waxes poetic about his desire to leave and/or be dead rather than work in a shoe factory.
- Tom delivers a sarcastic tirade about the evil things he does when he claims to be at the movies.
- Tom hurls his coat in anger and accidentally breaks some of the glass animals.
- He comes home drunk and bumps into Laura, telling her all about his movie-going experiences.
- Tom discusses the notion of escaping from a coffin.
- Tom apologizes to his mother on Laura’s request.
- Tom dreams about adventure – out loud, to his mother.
- He talks about the dreamy Paradise Dance Hall across the street.
- Tom reveals to Amanda that he got a gentleman caller for Laura.
- Tom goes to the movies...again.
- He smokes on the fire escape and talks about Jim
- He shows up with Jim and talks to him about adventure.
- Tom confesses that he did not pay the light bill.
- He endures dinner with Amanda and Jim.
- He finds out Jim is engaged from Amanda and gets yelled at for it.
- Tom takes off for the movies.
- Narrator Tom gives his closing speech and reveals that he left his family shortly after that night, seeking adventure and other non-boring activities.
- Tom makes it clear that he always felt guilty about leaving Laura, and couldn’t get her out of his mind.