73 pages 2 hours read

Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1945

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The Glass Menagerie

  • Genre: Fiction; drama
  • Originally Published: 1945
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 10-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 2 parts; 7 scenes; approx. 104 pages; approx. 1 hour, 43 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: The play reveals Tom Wingfield’s haunting memories of his young adulthood in 1930s St. Louis. Tom’s strong-willed mother, Amanda, convinces him to bring a gentleman caller to meet his shy sister, Laura.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Dated, racist language in Scene 1

Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier Williams), Author

  • Bio: 1911-1983; born in Columbus, Mississippi; studied at the University of Iowa; pursued playwriting after college and while working other jobs such as Hollywood scriptwriter; first major success and critical review came with The Glass Menagerie, followed by Pulitzer Prizes for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; cared for his institutionalized sister throughout his life and established a trust fund for her before he died
  • Other Works: A Streetcar Named Desire (1947); Summer and Smoke (1948); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955); The Night of the Iguana (1961)
  • Awards: New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play (1945); many production awards for various revivals, including Tony Awards for acting, directing, and technical elements

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit: