The Glass Menagerie Scene 1 – Introduction – Tennessee Williams
Yes I have tricks in my pockets. Yes I have things up my sleeves. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.
The begin with, I turn back time. I reverse it to that quaint period, The Thirties, When the huge Middle Class of America was matriculating in the school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they have failed their eyes. And so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly pressed against the fiery braille alphabet of a vanishing economy.
In Spain, there was revolution, Here, there was only shouting and confusing. In Spain there was Guernica, here, there were disturbances of labor – sometimes pretty violent – in otherwise peaceful cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis… this is the social background of the play.
I am the narrator of the play, and I am also a character in it. The other characters are my mother Amanda, my sister Laura, and a gentleman caller who appears in the final scenes. He is the most realistic character of the play being an emissary from a world of reality that we were somehow set apart from. But since I have a poet’s weakness for symbols, I am including this character too as a symbol. He is the long-awaited but always expected something that we all live for.
There is a fifth character who does not appear except for in this larger than life sized photograph over the mantel. This is our father who left us a long time ago. He was a telephone man who fell in love with long distances. He gave up his job at the telephone company and skipped the light fantastic out of town.
The last we saw of him was a picture postcard from Mazatlan on the Pacific coast of Mexico, containing a message of two words: “Hello” “Goodbye”.
I think the rest of the play will explain itself.
Summary of Scene 1 of The Glass Menagerie:
The Glass Menagerie Act 1 Scenes 1& 2