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Authors: The Glass Menagerie Quotes, The Glass Menagerie Important Quotes, Quotations, Sayings
Related Quotes:   A Streetcar Named Desire  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  Tennessee Williams
In memory everything seems to happen to music.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom Wingfield, as narrator, Scene 1.
Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. 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 Glass Menagerie
Tom, as narrator, Scene 1.
Mother, when you're disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus' mother in the museum.
The Glass Menagerie
Laura Wingfield, Scene 2.
I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy a position. I've seen such pitiful cases in the South — barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister's husband or brother's wife! — stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room — encouraged by one in-law to visit another — little birdlike women without any nest — eating the crust of humility all their life! Is that the future that we've mapped out for ourselves?
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda Wingfield, Scene 2.
Why you're not crippled, you just have a little defect — hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it — develop charm — and vivacity — and — charm!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda to Laura, Scene 2.
Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man.
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda to Laura, after she learns her daughter has dropped out of business school, Scene 2.
I took that horrible novel back to the library — yes! That hideous book by that insane Mr. Lawrence. I cannot control the output of diseased minds or people who cater to them — BUT I WON'T ALLOW SUCH FILTH BROUGHT INTO MY HOUSE! No, no, no, no, no!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda, Scene 3.
Every time you come in yelling that Goddamn "Rise and Shine! Rise and Shine!" I say to myself, "How lucky dead people are!" But I get up. I go! For sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self - self's all I ever think of. Why, listen, if self is what I though of, Mother, I'd be where he is GONE!
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, Scene 3.
I know your ambitions do not lie in the warehouse, that like everybody in the whole wide world - you've had to — make sacrifices, but — Tom — Tom — life's not easy, it calls for — Spartan endurance!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda, Scene 4.
Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!
The Glass Menagerie
Tom as he argues with his mother Amanda about his career, Scene 4.
This was the compensation for lives that passed like mine, without any change or adventure. Adventure and change were imminent in this year. They were waiting around the corner for all these kids.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, Scene 4.
You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda to Tom, Scene 5.
No girl can do worse than put herself at the mercy of a handsome appearance.
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda, referring to the bad choice she made in marrying a handsome man, Scene 5.
She lives in a world of her own — a world of — little glass ornaments.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, about Laura, Scene 5.
He was shooting with such velocity through his adolescence that you would logically expect him to arrive at nothing short of the White House by the time he was thirty.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom's impressions of Jim O'Connor when they were both in high school, Scene 6.
All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda's thoughts as she tries to make Laura as attractive as possible, Scene 6.
People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them have them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, Scene 6.
I know I seem dreamy, but inside — well, I'm boiling! Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is and what I am doing! Whatever that means, I know it doesn't mean shoes — except as something to wear on a traveler's feet!
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, Scene 6.
All of my gentlemen callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes—and woman accepts the proposal! To vary that old, old saying a bit—I married no planter! I married a man who worked for the telephone company! . . . A telephone man who —fell in love with long-distance!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda subjects Jim, who has just arrived at the Wingfield apartment for dinner, to her high-volume, girlish Southern charm, Scene 6.
People are not so dreadful when you get to know them.
The Glass Menagerie
Jim to Laura, as he tries to help her with her shyness, Scene 7.
You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.
The Glass Menagerie
Jim to Laura, Scene 7.
I believe in the future of television! I wish to be ready to go up right along with it. Therefore I'm planning to get in on the ground floor. In fact I've already made the right connections and all that remains is for the industry itself to get under way! Full steam — Knowledge — Zzzzzp! Money — Zzzzzp! — Power! That's the cycle democracy is built on.
The Glass Menagerie
Jim, Scene 7.
LAURA: Little articles of it [glass], they're ornaments mostly! Most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie! Here's an example of one, if you'd like to see it! . . . Oh, be careful — if you breathe, it breaks! . . . Hold him over the light, he loves the light! You see how the light shines through him?
JIM: It sure does shine!
LAURA: I shouldn't be partial, but he is my favorite one.
JIM: What kind of a thing is this one supposed to be?
LAURA: Haven't you noticed the single horn on his forehead?
JIM: A unicorn, huh? — aren't they extinct in the modern world?
LAURA: I know!
JIM: Poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome.
The Glass Menagerie
Jim's warmth enables Laura to overcome her shyness in his presence and she introduces him to the collection of glass animals that is her most prized possession, Scene 7.
JIM: Aw, aw, aw. Is it broken?
LAURA: Now it is just like all the other horses.
JIM: It's lost its —
LAURA: Horn! It doesn't matter. . . . [smiling] I'll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish!
The Glass Menagerie
After persuading Laura to dance with him, Jim accidentally bumps the table on which the glass unicorn rests, breaking the horn off of the figurine, Scene 7.
Glass breaks so easily. No matter how careful you are.
The Glass Menagerie
Laura to Jim, about the unincorn's broken horn, Scene 7.
I wish that you were my sister. I'd teach you to have some confidence in yourself. The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They're one hundred times one thousand. You're one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here. They're common as — weeds, but — you — well, you're — Blue Roses!
The Glass Menagerie
Jim to Laura, Scene 7.
Things have a way of turning out so badly.
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda, Scene 7.
You don't know things anywhere! You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions!
The Glass Menagerie
Amanda to Tom, Scene 7.
TOM: I'm going to the movies.
AMANDA: That's right, now that you've had us make such fools of ourselves. The effort, the preparations, all the expense ! The new floor lamp, the rug, the clothes for Laura ! all for what? To entertain some other girl's fiancé ! Go to the movies, go ! Don't think about us, a mother deserted, an unmarried sister who's crippled and has no job ! Don't let anything interfere with your selfish pleasure I just go, go, go — to the movies!
The Glass Menagerie
Scene 7.
I didn't go to the moon, I went much further — for time is the longest distance between two places.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom, Scene 7.
I left Saint Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. . . . I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. . . . I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger — anything that can blow your candles out! — for nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles Laura — and so goodbye.
The Glass Menagerie
Tom speaking many years later, long after he has left the family home, the play closing with this speech by him at end of Scene 7.
The Glass Menagerie is a "memory play" that tells of a family trapped in destructive patterns. It was written by American playwright Tennessee Williams and is believed by many to be an autobiographical play about the author's life. It premiered in Chicago in 1944. Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams on March 26, 1911, and died February 25, 1983.


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