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4 Hawthorne Drama- Plays

The Glass Menagerie (New Directions Book)

by

The Glass Menagerie (New Directions Book) Cover

ISBN13: 9780811214049
ISBN10: 0811214044
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When it opened in Chicago in 1944, The Glass Menageriemarked a turning point in American theater and in the life of its then unknown author. Tennessee Williams’s elegiac masterpiece brought a radical new lyricism to Broadway—and today the tragedy, fragility, and tenderness of this “memory play” endure.

In a cramped St. Louis apartment the aging Southern belle Amanda Wingfield, long preoccupied by memories of gentlemen callers and a world that no longer exists, is energized by the dilemma of how to save what remains of her family. Her restless son Tom — factory worker, aspiring poet, and the narrator of the play — is swept up in Amanda’s comic and heartbreaking schemes to find Laura, his agonizingly shy and handicapped sister, a husband.

This new edition of The Glass Menageriecomes with an exciting introduction by the playwright Tony Kushner. Williams’s classic essay on the effect of swift and unexpected fame, “The Catastrophe of Success,” his original production notes, and a new essay on the autobiographical background of the play by the distinguished Williams scholar Allean Hale are also included.

Synopsis:

No play in the modern theatre has so captured the imagination and heart of the American public as Tennessee Williams's .

Synopsis:

was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of , reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: "More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams's mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally." This edition of also includes Williams's essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, "The Catastrophe of Success," as well as a short section of Williams's own "Production Notes." The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.

About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

FletcherFriday333, March 12, 2015 (view all comments by FletcherFriday333)

The Glass Menagerie is an ideal book for anyone interested in exploring new literary formats. Additionally, people who are unhappy with their current living situations would benefit from reading this book.

Tennessee Williams creates a new type of narrator in The Glass Menagerie. Tom, the main character functions as both the protagonist of the story and as the narrator. In his role as narrator, he is able to offer pieces of information such as, “I have a poets weakness for symbols, I am using this character also as a symbol; he is the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for”(5). He offers specific insight into the themes and literary devices at work in the story. As the protagonist, we hear of his struggles to leave his dependent mother and sister to live the adventurous life that he has always dreamed of. However, he struggles to do so because of the shadow left by his absent father who, “fell in love with long distances”(5). Quotes such as this help to capture the overall feeling of separation in the book. None of the characters succeed in crafting lasting relationships, even within their immediate family.

This concept builds upon the central theme present in the book: the struggle to find true escape. Even though Tom eventually achieves physical separation from his family, the question remains if he has truly escaped his original life. Tom says, “Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!”(97), and implies that he still feels guilty for leaving Laura and Amanda behind. Will Tom ever be able to find happiness in life?

The Glass Menagerie has achieved lasting recognition because of the relatability of the characters. Tom, Laura, and Amanda are merely extreme versions of the emotions that everyone feels. Tom is a dreamer, looking to the horizon for excitement and opportunity. Laura is a home body, content to spend her days alone, focusing on what is important to her. Amanda is a mother, struggling to make ends meet all the while hoping to create a better life for her children. These characters are so easily identified because all other aspects of life are boiled away. The setting of the book is simple, leaving the focus to the characters and their struggles.
Overall, I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick and interesting read. The story, while not overly unique, is told in a way that makes it memorable. Tom’s way of storytelling also leaves just as many questions as answers, which forces a reader to evaluate their own feelings about the themes of responsibility, escape, and embracing reality. Overall I would give this book an eight out of ten.
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abbygetzinger, March 12, 2015 (view all comments by abbygetzinger)
The Glass Menagerie was a fantastic book, leaving readers with a whirlpool of emotions. The play has three distinct characters, the stern Amanda, self conscious Laura, and the dreamer Tom. I enjoyed the point of view of the play, older Tom reminiscing on his life. Also it is based in Saint Louis, being a Saint Louis girl, I already liked it. The play was odd, different then anything I have read before. The Glass Menagerie is one of those stories you can interpret in a couple of ways. First of all, some think what they want about Laura's disability. I wish Williams would have come out and said is she had something, if it is just her awkwardness, then call it something else. The symbols that are in this book, are the glass menagerie and alcohol. They both look good for the girls in scene six, until the end when both disappoint. I would defiantly recommend this book to others, because it is so different, and makes readers go along on an emotional rollercoaster with Amanda and Laura. I think why I enjoyed the play so much is because even though the time period is different, a lot of people including myself can relate to the basis of the story. A parent is addicted or makes a wrong choice, and then the rest of the story has to deal with the pain and circumstances. It is not unusual for a child to follow the foot steps of their parents, and we see this today, alcohol or drug use in the family gets passed down. Anything, does not have to be substances, but it is sad. I enjoy when I can relate to a book or story, it makes it easier to read, and you connect with the characters. As a reader, when you follow the plot of Jim and Laura, you can't help but get upset with it, and how he gets her hopes up. Also it is disappointing as a reader to see Tom let down his family members, and make such a fool of them all. Stories like these, make you wish that things like this did not happen in real life. This is a shorter read, but so worth it. For being so short, Tennessee Williams nailed the emotions on the head.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780811214049
Introduction:
Bray, Robert
Author:
Bray, Robert
Author:
Hale, Allean
Author:
Williams, Tennessee
Author:
Kushner, Tony
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Location:
New York :
Subject:
American
Subject:
American drama (dramatic works by one author)
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Family -- Missouri -- Saint Louis -- Drama.
Subject:
Young men - Missouri - Saint Louis
Subject:
Family - Missouri - Saint Louis
Subject:
Drama-American Anthology
Copyright:
Series:
New Directions Book
Publication Date:
19990631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
104
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.4 in 0.275 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » American Anthology
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Children's » General
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The Glass Menagerie (New Directions Book) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 104 pages New Directions Publishing Corporation - English 9780811214049 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , No play in the modern theatre has so captured the imagination and heart of the American public as Tennessee Williams's .
"Synopsis" by , was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of , reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: "More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams's mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally." This edition of also includes Williams's essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, "The Catastrophe of Success," as well as a short section of Williams's own "Production Notes." The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.
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