The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

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"The Glass Menagerie": Unit Exam

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The Glass Menagerie: Unit Exam (Write on your own paper, please. Also, skip a line between responses.)

I. Quote Interpretation: Choose THREE of these quotations from the play. Identify the speaker and the context of the passage; then explain why the passage is especially meaningful in the play. Do not write the passage; just number your responses to match the quotations.

  • “I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further--for time is the longest distance between two places.”
  • “I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren’t prepared to occupy a position. I’ve seen such pitiful women in the South . . . Little birdlike women without any nest--eating the crust of humility all their life!”
  • “You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions!”
  • “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!”

II. Short Answer Essay: Choose THREE of the questions to answer in one full paragraph for each question; include specific examples in your discussions. Do not write the questions; just number your answers to correspond to the questions.

  • How does the retrospective point of view make The Glass Menagerie especially poignant?
  • Fear is a powerful motivator of human behavior. Explain how the lives of Tom, Amanda, and Laura are determined by their individual fears?
  • The Glass Menagerie is especially rich in irony. Explain 3 examples of irony developed in the play.
  • In what ways is Tom Wingfield perhaps more like his mother than his father?
  • Explain the thematic parallels between Jim O’Connor and Amanda Wingfield OR explain how Jim O’Connor and Laura Wingfield function as antithetical characters.

About this Document

Passage interpretation and short-answer essay questions over the play and its characters.