The Glass Menagerie Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie book cover
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Is The Glass Menagerie still relevant? What relevance do you think this play has for today's readers and theatergoers?  Why do you think the play has retained its popularity?

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Palma Ebert eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Before you consider whether or not The Glass Menagerie still means something to readers today, consider what it would take for a text to remain relevant throughout changes in cultural and political attitudes. That text needs to incorporate some themes that are consistently important, no matter the social climate of the time. These are known as “universal themes,” and they often deal with larger-than-life ideas, such as what it means to be human, what it means to love, or the concept of family. The Glass Menagerie depicts several of these themes through the interactions of the Wingfield family.

You could also argue that this play remains relevant because it features relatable characters. What student today hasn’t struggled with anxiety, even if not on the level that Laura Wingfield seems to have it? We’ve all daydreamed about just walking out of class and never going back. Similarly, Tom’s resentment for the responsibility he holds is a common feeling among those forced to complete...

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