1st Edition

Essays on The Glass Menagerie Truth in the Pleasant Disguise of Illusion

By Tania Chakravertty Copyright 2025
    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume traces the growth of Tennessee Williams from being a fragile child to becoming one of America’s greatest playwrights, also highlighting the playwright’s deep indebtedness to the Southern literary conventions. The book analyses Williams’s wonderful play with the sense of time and shows how in The Glass Menagerie as in all memory plays, the protagonist ruminates over the past, re-evaluates himself in that context and has a deeper understanding of the present, eventually using memory to recover from past trauma. One of the chapters analyses the use of the new form in Menagerie that Williams and his contemporaries had begun experimenting with, what Williams referred to as ‘plastic theatre’. Twentieth century American poetic drama, turned out to be contemporary, seeking the universal emotional and psychic truths and simultaneously portraying American life and culture with authenticity. The book also involves an in-depth study of the characters in Menagerie. Tom Wingfield has been critiqued in relationship to the absent father, the formidable mother and the soulmate sister; and the author has focused on, amongst many things, the gender issue. She has provided an analysis and critique of the reproduction of sex and gender and has brought the reader’s attention to Tom Wingfield’s and the playwright’s own struggle to strike a balance between the masculine and the feminine.

    1 Tennessee Williams: the Formative Years

    2 Autobiographical Elements in The Glass Menagerie

    3 Tennessee Williams, the Southern Writer

    4 Williams’s Play with Time: The Glass Menagerie as a Memory Play

    5 Experiments with Form in The Glass Menagerie

    6 The Wingfields and the Gentleman Caller: A Study of the Characters in The Glass Menagerie



    Tania Chakravertty is the Dean of Students’ Welfare, Diamond Harbour Women’s University, West Bengal, India. She is the author of Ernest Hemingway and the Fluidity of Gender: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Selected Works.