The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
(New Classics Series)

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Synopsis

This series of plays for the 11-16 age range offers contemporary drama and new editions of classic plays. The series has been developed to support classroom teaching and to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum Key Stages 3 and 4. The plays are suitable for classroom reading and performance; many have large casts and an equal mix of parts for boys and girls. Each play includes strategies and activities to introduce and use the plays in the classroom. "The Glass Menagerie" tells the story of Tom, who is frustrated in his job and distressed at home by the mental withdrawal of his crippled sister. Both of them are intrigued by a set of glass figures. There are four parts, two male and two female.
 

About Tennessee Williams

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After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.
 
Published September 30, 1968 by Heinemann Educational Publishers. 76 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Gay & Lesbian, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Glass Menagerie

Curious Book Fans

But it is significant that just before Jim’s visit Laura is described as being ‘like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting’, and the link to her glass menagerie here is quite clear.

Feb 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Glass Menagerie (New Clas...

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