The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
Notes/ Journal Prompts
Literary Elements Journal
• You will dedicate one page of your journal for
each of the following literary devices. As we
read The Glass Menagerie, you will take notes in
your journal as you encounter these literary
devices being used. After reading the play, you
will write an essay analyzing four of the drama’s
literary devices.
Narrator/ Point-of-View
• If you choose to focus on point of view,
discuss the positive and negative aspects
of the author’s choice.
Characters and Characterization
• Characters (static/ dynamic, round/ flat)
• Protagonist
• Antagonist
Plot Structure
• Exposition
• Rising Action
• Climax
• Falling Action
• Resolution
Plot Structure
• Conflicts (Describe and categorize)
Flashback/ Foreshadowing
Suspense
Questions
Diction (include denotation and
connotation)
Word
Denotation
Connotation
Allusions
Figurative Language
• Metaphors, Similes, Personification
Figurative Language
• Imagery
Figurative Language
• Symbol
Mood and Tone
(include relevant passages)
• Scene One (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Two (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Three (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Four (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Five (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Six (mood/ tone and passage)
• Scene Seven (mood/ tone and passage)
Themes
Journal Entry: Scene One
• First, describe what Amanda, the mother,
is expecting, the event for which she is
waiting. Then, speculate on how Tom and
Laura might be feeling about her
expectation. Do they share it? What
leads you to believe your opinion? How
might you feel if you were Tom? How
might you feel if you were Laura? Why do
you believe Laura tells Tom they should
allow their mother to tell her stories, even
if they have heard them before?
Journal Entry: Scene Two, Three
• In these two scenes it becomes apparent
that both Tom and Laura feel the need to
escape. What do they do to escape?
From what are they trying to escape?
How might Tom and Laura relate to the
symbol of the fire escape, and its “slow
and implacable fires of human
desperation” as mentioned in the Scene
One? Have you ever felt the desperate
need to escape? From what, or who. do
you sometimes feel the need to escape?
How, or to where, do you escape?
Journal Entry: Scene Four
• What are Amanda’s concerns about Tom? Are
they legitimate (meaning, does she have good
reason to be afraid for him)? Do you think that
her concern has in any way shaped the way that
he is? Explain. How have your parents or
guardians shaped you, in either positive or
negative ways? What have your parents done
or said to cause you to develop these character
traits? What will you do to influence your
children (or children you may influence in some
way, such as a niece or nephew, etc.)?
Journal Entry: Scenes Five, Six
• How does Amanda respond to the news of the
gentleman caller? (Give some specific examples
of her “plans and provisions.”) What is
Amanda’s dream for herself and her family?
How does Laura respond to the news of the
gentleman caller? What do you think would
make Laura happy? What dreams do you have
that have been stifled by some person or
circumstance? Describe in great detail what you
think would make you truly happy, and then
describe any person or circumstance that keeps
you from attaining that dream.
Journal Entry: Scene Seven
• Write one sentence that states a theme
from the play “A Glass Menagerie.” Then,
write one sentence for each character
summarizing the character’s traits. Finally,
choose one character who you identify
with in some way, and describe how you
identify with that character.
Tennessee Williams
• Born
– Year: 1911
– Name: Thomas Lanier Williams
– Born in Columbus, Mississippi
• Died
– Year: 1985
– Name: Tennessee Williams
– Died in New York Hotel Room
• Interesting Tidbits:
– His sister, Rose, had a collection of small glass
animals that the two played with as children.
– As teenagers, Rose began to go insane. Tom
(Tennessee) began to realize his own
homosexuality.
– He adopted the name Tennessee after
graduating from college.
– His themes center around people trapped in
their own personal versions of hell.
– His most famous plays were his first:
• The Glass Menagerie (1945)
• A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)
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The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams