The Glass Menagerie

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Music Symbol Icon
Tennessee Williams's stage directions frequently call for music to underscore key moments in a scene. “The Glass Menagerie” theme repeats frequently throughout the play. Laura and Amanda associate music with the absent Mr. Wingfield, who left the family his Victrola. The Victrola player provides Laura an auditory escape and contrasts with the clickety-clack of the typewriter, which reminds her of her failed attempt to attend business college. Laura also associates music with Jim, whom she met in the school choir; Jim, we are told, has a beautiful voice.
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Music Symbol Timeline in The Glass Menagerie

The timeline below shows where the symbol Music appears in The Glass Menagerie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 1
Memory Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
...Mississippi, a story she has clearly told many, many times before. The lights dim and music begins to play. At Laura’s gentle urging, Tom mechanically plays along, asks his mother questions... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
...suggests that Laura practice her typing as she waits for gentleman callers to arrive. The music of “The Glass Menagerie” plays as Laura tells Amanda that there won’t be callers coming... (full context)
Scene 6
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
Escape Theme Icon
...on the landing. Laura desperately tries to buy time by winding the Victrola to play music, but eventually, she reluctantly opens the door. (full context)
Scene 7
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
Jim and Laura hear waltz music from the Paradise Dance Hall. Despite Laura’s protests, Jim leads her in a clumsy waltz... (full context)