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Word Count: 758
Critical analysis of the opening scene of The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams The main functions of an opening scene are to obtain the audience or readers attention introduce the characters and prepare the audience for later events in the play The Glass Menagerie starts with extensive stage directions about how the set should look and information about the period the play is set in The stage directions are full of metaphors concerning imprisonment and escape also non-individuality Tennessee Williams uses metaphors throughout the play to help to describe the scene or situation When describing the Wingfields apartment Williams uses the term vast hive-like conglomerations This suggests the inhabitants of these buildings are like worker bees lacking individuality A fundamentally enslaved section of American society who operate as one It is the first mention of a main symbol in the play Another would be the fire escape which Tom wishes to uses to escape his life and the fires of human desperation Tom is the first character we are introduced to He is both the narrator and a character in the play In Toms opening speech he talks about the period in which the play is set and how America is going through the Great Depression This mention of something outside the action of the play is used to demonstrate how the troubles of the Wingfields fits into the troubles of the wider world The Wingfields like the rest of American society are choosing to ignore the Depression and the threat of the imminent war Hence Toms suggestion that America was matriculating in a school for the blind Tom introduces the other characters which includes his mother Amanda who shows her unrealistic approach to life immediately Her retraction into her past life in the Blue Mountains and her seventeen gentleman callers signifies the start of her constant fixation with obtaining a gentleman caller for Laura Laura Toms sister is very economical with
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