© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie


by Tennessee Williams

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

Amanda commits to finding a gentleman caller for Laura.

Amanda feels that her family is unfulfilled, so she focuses her energies on finding a husband for Laura. She anticipates Laura getting married sometime in the near future.

Dream Stage

Tom gets a gentleman caller for Laura.

Tom and Amanda commit to the course of action, roping in this Jim character to act as the gentleman caller. The dream, much like the anticipation, is that Laura will get married.

Frustration Stage

Laura is being difficult because the gentleman caller is a figure from her past.

Amanda is extremely frustrated with Laura’s fragility, shyness, and general refusal to interact with Jim. Amanda becomes more forceful, yelling at her daughter and demanding that she open the door for the guest.

Nightmare Stage

Jim turns out to be engaged.

Amanda is left with no control over the situation here. The dream spirals into nightmare as we realize that Laura can’t possibly marry this guy.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage

Tom ends his role in the family.

Tom doesn’t really die, but you could say that he fulfills a metaphorical death wish with respect to his role as family provider.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...