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Free Study Guide-The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams-Book Notes
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The action takes place in the 1930s, in the Wingfield apartment in the lower middle class section of the city of St. Louis. The stage-set is a small apartment located in the rear of a building; it is situated in an overcrowded urban area. On both sides of the building, narrow alleys are filled with garbage cans, tangled clothes-wires, and neighboring fire escapes.

LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major Characters

Amanda Wingfield

The overly conscientious and doting mother of Tom and Laura. Born a Southern belle, she feels nostalgia for her past life, which she remembers as much more romantic than it really was. Deserted by her husband, she is a lonely woman who now lives only for her children and wants them to prosper in life.


Laura Wingfield

The daughter of Amanda and elder sister to Tom. Slightly crippled, she is acutely shy and nervous. She lives solely in her world of glass animals and victrola records and feels ill equipped to face the world.

Tom Wingfield

Amanda's son and the narrator of the play. He is torn between his poetic inclinations and the responsibility of supporting a deserted mother and an elder unmarried sister. Tom works for a shoe company and fuels his dreams of real-life adventure by going to the movies.

Minor Characters

Jim O'Connor

Laura's "gentleman caller". He was a high school hero who has turned into an ordinary man. He is, however, still optimistic about his potential and slightly overconfident. Laura's chance for love and Amanda's hope for a son-in-law are pinned on Jim, even though he is a little insensitive to Laura.

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Free Study Guide-The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams-Book Notes
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