Some Critics Believe That The Visual And Musical Effects Used In 'the Glass Menagerie' By Tennesse Williams Are What Make It Such An Effective Play. Do You Agree?

1847 words - 7 pages

Some critics believe thatthe visual and musical effects used in'The glass Menagerie' are whatmake it such an effective play.Do you agree?The visual and musical effects Tennessee Williams incorporates into 'The Glass Menagerie' are extremely thorough and detailed. They perform an important part in the play as they help the audience to interpret it in the specific and unique way the playwright intended. These visual and musical effects aid in fulfilling Williams' aim to promote an underlying tragic theme. However, it may be argued that the various stage directions and elaborate musical and lighting effects can only allow little individual interpretation. Nevertheless, the language and dialogue used also add to the effectiveness of the play. The narrator involves the reader by setting the atmosphere elaborately and gives the exact manner by which each scene is to be perceived.The visual effects in 'The Glass Menagerie' are extremely detailed. They emphasise and complement the text at that point in the play. They allow the reader to visualise the setting and enable the reader to understand the mood of the play. This, in turn increases the reader's comprehension of the play. The set and scenery description Tennessee Williams provides sets the play in context, for example, in the first scene, a description of the apartment the family lives in is given. ''...The Wingfield apartment is in the rear of the building, one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units...'' This phrase suggests that the house they live in is very small and like a prison. "...The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape...''. The detail Tennessee provides builds a clear picture of what their home should look like, the metaphors and similes he uses to describe the apartment gives the reader the idea that the family is quite poor and do not have a luxurious house. The props are also used to set the play in context, for example, a newspaper prop makes reference to a sportsman who played during the 1930s, "Ole Dizzy Dean is in his bad behaviour...''.Another visual effect found in 'The Glass Menagerie' is the lighting effects which complement the text, for example, when Amanda is reminiscing about the past and her husband and remembering and a rose coloured lamp is switched on inside the house. ''...And then I - ... met your father! She switches on the rose coloured lamp...''. The stage direction and lighting effect of the rose coloured lamp emphasises that 'Amanda' is remembering her husband through 'rose-tinted glasses' which means she is seeing her husband and the past in a more happier way than it was in reality. The lighting effects also provide emphasis on subjects that would have otherwise hone unnoticed, for example, there is a spotlight on 'Laura' while 'Tom' and 'Amanda' are arguing show she is being hurt as a result of the argument, "A clear pool of light on her (Laura) figure throughout this scene.". The lighting effects also help to...

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