Williams himself has called his work the play-memory and the reason for that is its unusual shape. “Glass Menagerie” is constructed in the form of memories of one of the heroes, Tom Wingfield. He recalls about his home and family, which he left many years ago. Of course, the form of memories made an impact on the plot of the play – the episodes are sketchy sometimes, they do not always express a complete thought and are connected with each other only schematically, although the composition of the play is linear: there are no jumps in time.
The plot of “Glass Menagerie” is a confession of the main character, his memories and regrets of the past. This play is autobiographical. Fragile tragic image of the heroine Laura is not a fiction. It’s a prototype of the only woman Williams loved and whom he has betrayed, his sister Rose. Her tragic story became the basis of this work. We hurt the most the most people close to us, but we never think about whether we will have the opportunity to ask them for forgiveness.
Life forces the protagonist to make a choice: to betray for the sake of the freedom, give up his mother and sister, or else stay in the family and forget about the dreams forever. But deliberate cruelty is the only thing you cannot forgive, even to yourself.
The space of the play is located on two floors: the bottom is the miserable apartment, and above is a certain space for air and sky. Tom, who is struggling to get out from stifling walls of the inescapable dramas and pathologies of the family, can easily lift himself up and be at the top. Quiet Laura silently sits there alone with her thoughts that no one knows about. Top is an illusion of freedom, the bottom is a rough material reality. At the beginning and in the final stage of the play thin transparent curtain separates the audience from the stage, and the world behind it seems unreal.
All the characters of the play travel from their dreams and illusions back to reality whenever they want. The characters of the poem live in a world of illusion until an event happens that sends them back to reality. Amanda Wingfield never does anything during days and often recalls her perfect childhood. Amanda mainly lives in a world of illusion, shutting our reality when she feels like it. When she has bad times in reality she runs and hides into her world of illusion. Laura Wingfield plays with little glass figures and pretends she is a student of Business College. Tom Wingfield works all day and earns money for the whole family and goes out at night to the movies and bars.
Williams himself has called his work the play-memory and the reason for that is its unusual shape. “Glass Menagerie” is constructed in the form of memories of one of the heroes, Tom Wingfield. He recalls about his home and family, which he left many years ago.