The Opening of Glass Menagerie
The opening of Glass Menagerie is key in establishing themes,
relationships, dramatic conventions character symbolism and style.
The opening of the play ‘Glass Menagerie’ let the audience know about
various elements of the play such as themes, relationships, characters
and dramatic conventions.
This was done by detailed description of the setting and the narrator,
Tom informing the audience.
The main themes of the play could be found in the opening.
The fact that the play was about memory had been made clear in the
beginning with the line, “the scene is memory…” Once again confirmed
very clearly by Tom who said, “the play is memory.” The audience could
easily interpret that this play was Tom’s memory of his life with
Amanda and Laura in St Louis. At the end of the play the audience
found out that Tom could not erase the memory of leaving Laura. “Oh,
Laura, Laura I tried to leave you behind me but I am more faithful
than I intended to be.”
This theme of memory influenced Amanda also as the play progressed. It
became evident that she could not escape from her memories of living
in the “Blue Mountain” where she had a pleasurable and an abundant
life. Few minutes after the play began the audience already hears
Amanda babbling about it “I remember one Sunday afternoon in Blue
Mountain…” This happened throughout the play consistently. She would
talk about her life in the “Blue Mountain” whenever she got a chance
to. So it would be quite true to say that Amanda was living in her
memory, which caused her to deny the reality.
The idea of accepting the reality was also evident in the opening of
Tom spoke of gentleman caller who “is the most realistic character in
the play” then explains further “being an emissary form a world of
reality that we were somehow set apart from.” From this it was easy
for the audience to interpret that the Wingfield’s were either denying
the reality or insensitive to it. Amanda was the obvious case of
denying it. When Laura told her “I don’t believe we’re going to
receive any” gentleman callers she frantically yelled “not one
gentleman caller? It can’t be true!”
Escaping was another main theme of the play which was introduced in
the beginning. This theme was mostly related to Tom who always wanted
to escape from Amanda and his hopeless, tedious and meaningless life.
Tom addressed the audience in the beginning of the play standing near
the fire-escape. The fire-escape was used to enter the apartment but
to Tom, it was more than that. His frequent outing to the movies,
which was his means of escaping from Amanda and his depressing life,
was all done through the fire-escape. However, the audience were made
aware of the fact that his escape in the end was not so delightful as
the thought of leaving Laura haunted him after he left her. “Oh Laura,