The Glass Menagerie

Lesson 7

Objective

Students will be able to explain how Williams uses stage directions to reinforce key ideas, emotions, or themes in the scene.

Readings and Materials

Target Task

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Question 1

The stage direction on p. 53 that describes the curtains as blowing inward “in a slow, graceful motion and with a faint, sorrowful sighing” mainly serves to

A.

foreshadow the events to come.

B.

establish details of the setting.

C.

explain that the day is windy.

D.

provide insight into Tom’s feelings about the events.

Question 2

In scene 6, Amanda can best be described as

A.

a nervous hostess but a devoutly faithful Christian.

B.

a person who seems to care about others but is truly selfish.

C.

a loving mother but terrible at entertaining guests.

D.

a woman stuck in the past but undeniably devoted to her family.

Question 3

Explain how the author uses the stage directions to develop the theme of reality and/or the theme of escape. Use evidence from the scene to support your answer.

Key Questions

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  • How would you describe Laura's mood as Tom's visit approaches? Compare her mood and Amanda's.

  • What do the jonquils symbolize? What is the significance of Amanda's insatiable desire for jonquils? (p. 54)

  • p. 54: Why do the stage directions describe Laura as having an "altered look"? What does it reveal? Why does the music become "ominous" and the screen say, "Not Jim"?

  • What is significant about the way Amanda is dressed?

  • p. 55: What is Amanda's reaction to Laura? What does this further reveal about Amanda's character? Her desire for her children to be happy?

  • p. 56-59: How does the playwright further develop Amanda's disconnect from reality in these pages? Track actions, dialogue, diction, etc.

  • How does the image of the Jolly Roger (p. 60) help to develop theme? Why is it significant the two men are standing on the fire escape at this moment?

  • "A telephone man who fell in love with long distance." How does this develop theme?

  • What is the significance of Laura's sob at the end of the scene?

  • What have we learned of Tom's plans?