Great question! Although it features a melancholy love story and tragic elements, The Glass Menagerie is best described as a memory play. In fact, Tennessee Williams invented the term in the stage directions of this play. The narrator of the play, Tom Wingfield, introduces himself in the opening scene of The Glass Menagerie by saying,
The play is memory. Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic. In memory everything seems to happen to music. That explains the fiddle in the wings. I am the narrator of the play, and also a character in it. The other characters are my mother Amanda, my sister Laura and a gentleman caller who appears in the final scenes.
In the opening lines, the narrator reveals that the events of the plot are based on his memories of events that happened to his family. This is an important disclosure, as human memory is notoriously fickle and unreliable. In memory, many details are lost while others are blown out of proportion. This is...
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