Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Study of The Glass Menagerie

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January 21, 2018

Study of The Glass Menagerie

Activity Description

Besides the units on Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Glass Menagerie’, the project also covers Derrida’s concept, concept of Transcendentalism, Drama techniques adopted in Sanskrit and Tennessee Williams’ plays, Glass Houses and Spanish Civil war. This activity, which presents the whole knowledge of Tennessee Williams’ work has three specific aims.

  • The first is to introduce the student to the distinctive features of the playwright’s concerns, themes, characters and style.
  • The second is to interpret literature both personally and historically, that is, to show how the activities reflect not only the learner’s life and thought but also the spirit of the age and the ideals of the nation’s history.
  • The third aim is to show the rise in Deconstruction, as applied to literary criticism.

To study these aims we analysed in the following ways:-

1) Summarising historical events and social conditions of American Literature in the 17th century.
2) Understanding essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as the ‘Sage of Concord’, his essays which agitated the whole nation who wished to live by the spirit.
3) Establishment of independent critical opinion and perspectives on the text.
4) Analysed Tennessee Williams as a morbid writer.
5) Understanding Deconstruction as a work of literature having a specific meaning.
6) Studying Glass and its properties; applications of Glass houses.
7) Understanding concept of Derrida’s Differance
8) Effects of Spanish Civil War.
9) Hormonal Imbalances of Laura.

The focus was on facilitating easy comprehension of facts with the aid of a lively, colourful layout. Each of the activities has been provided with a large number of amazing and unusual facts to make reading interesting. A conscious effort has also been made to include such topics as would help to inculcate a spirit of inquiry in the learners.

Learners encouraged themselves to observe and discover the wonders of Williams’ play ‘The Glass Menagerie’, the world, men and women, information on art, literature, science, and finally, the progress of society itself through following contexts:-

  • We read that a blown up photograph of father is seen on the wall of the house which means absence of father indicative as of Derrida’s theory of Differance1
  • Tom, the protagonist mentions the unemployment problem and the labour trouble that increase the miseries of the American people due to ‘The Great Depression’. Simply put, the great depression of 1929-1934 that occurred in most western economies refers to the world wide slump both in output and in prices and resulted in unemployment and hardship to tens of millions.
  • Absence of compatibility highlighted among Laura, Tom and Amanda.
  • Tom’s interest is in a myth of gracious living but is defeated by the impinging realities of the present.
  • Laura washing of glass animals.
  • When we look at a piece of delicately spun glass two things remind us:-
    1. how beautiful it is
    2. how easily it can be broken

Laura having deformed limbs due to hormonal imbalance, thinks she has no fair chance of marrying any young man.

GLASS- An approach was made in understanding the concept of glass, its types, and usages through the study of Lalbagh Botanical Garden and The Crystal Palace, Bengaluru.

After the study of the play, we understand the message of Williams that he tells the world that the brutal and unfeeling surfaces of people’s lives mirror a pathetic and often hopeless striving.


  1. The Glass Menagerie
  2. Text books related to Glass, Biology
  3. The Crystal Palace and Lalbagh Glass House history

Rathna Sindhur with her ambitious aim inspires young minds about love of learning and helps them become free thinkers. Rathna currently teaches English from Class III-V at Edify School in Bengaluru. Prior to this she taught French at elementary level from 2009-2012 at VIBGYOR High. Rathna loves to be working with people from different trades and walks of life at varied levels. As an ISA coordinator at Edify School, she balances concerns of different groups in order to reach a common goal. Academically, Rathna is an MA in English from KSOU Mysore University; she holds Diploma in Teachers Training, Cambridge TTF and Level-A in French from Alliance Francaise.

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