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'The Glass Menagerie' Quotes - 3

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The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

New Directions Publishing
  • "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!"
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 6
    Note: This is an example of Amanda, and her brand of Southern-belle sentimentality and charm--high in volume and heavy on the flourish.
  • "People are not so dreadful when you get to know them."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Jim is giving his sister words-of-wisdom (to help with shyness).
  • "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."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Jim to Laura
  • "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."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Jim
  • "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?"
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Note: This is part of the interaction between Laura and Jim, who accidentally bumps the table (while they are dancing). The glass unicorn breaks.
  • "Glass breaks so easily. No matter how careful you are."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Laura is talking to Jim, but it's an ironic reference to Laura (and to her whole family). They are all fragile, and will break apart.
  • "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!"
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Note: Jim is talking to Laura
  • "Things have a way of turning out so badly."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Note: Amanda is being her ole pessimistic self, thinking the worst in every situation!
  • "You don't know things anywhere! You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions!"
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Note: Amanda is criticizing Tom yet again. In reality, he has a better, more firm, grasp of reality than she does. She exists in a glass menagerie of her own making, and wants to control every aspect of it.
  • "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!"
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Amanda
  • "I didn't go to the moon, I went much further - for time is the longest distance between two places."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    Tom
  • "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."
    - Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Scene 7
    This is the closing scene in the play. Tom is giving an update on what has happened in his life, in the intervening years.
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