A faded remnant of Southern gentility. Amanda Wingfield lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment. Abandoned by her husband, Amanda comforts herself with recollections of her earlier, more gracious life in Blue Mountain when she was pursued by “gentlemen callers.” Her son Tom, a poet with a job in a warehouse, longs for adventure and escape from his mother’s suffocating embrace, while Laura, her shy “crippled” daughter, has her glass menagerie and her memories. Amanda is desperate to find her daughter a husband, but when the long-awaited gentleman caller does arrive, Laura’s romantic illusions are crushed.
The Glass Menagerie is a memory play by Tennessee Williams that premiered in 1944 and catapulted Williams from obscurity to fame. The play has strong autobiographical elements, featuring characters based on its author, his histrionic mother, and his mentally fragile sister Laura. In writing the play, Williams drew on an earlier short story, as well as a screenplay he had written under the title of The Gentleman Caller.