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The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie


by Tennessee Williams

Analysis: Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Tennessee Williams wrote an essay called "The Catastrophe of Success" after The Glass Menagerie made him famous, basically saying he hated himself for becoming one of the pampered elite and offering advice to those other poor souls who might someday become rich, famous, and free of care.

Blue roses served Williams’s purpose because they are supposed to be rare or impossible things. But then geneticists came in and ruined it all by manipulating a rose to turn it blue. Why are we telling you this? We have no idea. But they’re the coolest roses we’ve ever seen.

This play is actually a little bit autobiographical. Or a lot bit. Williams had a sister, a lot like Laura, named Rose. Whoa. He most likely felt guilty about her having a prefrontal lobotomy in St. Louis. Not to mention he, like Tom, had dreams of becoming a writer.

You know the screen device we kept talking about in the summary? Well, Tennessee invented that idea on the grounds that "each scene contains a particular point (or several)…which is structurally the most important…[which] may be obscured from the audience…This may not be the fault of the play so much as a lack of attention in the audience." And directors’ responses to this claim? Most of them found it pretentious and downright annoying, choosing to leave it out of their production.

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