Happy Days And Glass Managerie

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade May 2001

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 559 times

Happy Days and Glass Menagerie 1. Happy Days is an example of absurdity literature due to two conditions: the character of Minnie and the content of the tone. An absurd play is one that is serious but may contain extravagantly comic scenes to depict a reality that is absurd, illogical and senseless. Therefore leaving the audience challenged to grasp the plays meaning. After reading this play I was definitely at a challenge as to grasping it?s meaning. I found that Minnie?s human loneliness and Will?s inability to communicate enhanced the plays tone of how meaningless their life was yet Winnie embraced its every meaning, adding complexity to the play. This enhanced the comic scenes setting certain elements of comic relief to the production. All in all making Happy Days an absurd piece of literature.

2. Will is a profound character throughout this play. Willie is a man that is trapped between two worlds, that of reality (his own piece of mind, and that of his wife?s reality.

In Act 1, Willie acts indifferent even rude to Winnie. As she is talking and talking and discussing and observing and analyzing Willie ignores her and almost shuns her. When he answers her questions he does so violently. However when Winnie notices a bug crawling around them, Willie turns and watches as well. They both giggle over its simplicity and Willie notes that is carrying an egg. As they share a happy moment they briefly laugh together then separately then together then separately once more. Willie has stepped into Minnie?s world for a moment and Minnie explains it as a ?Happy Day!? In Act 2 Willie has only one line. I think that Becket does this to force the audience to question everything. Willie is trying to meet Winnie and can?t make it up a hill, he is dressed in a tuxedo and finally forces out the word ?Win?. Usually when a character that rarely talks finally speaks, the audience must rack their thoughts and think what did that really mean? More attention is drawn to that character and therefore every movement and word is crucial in finding a theme to the production. Throughout the play Willie is lying on his arm and hardly speaks, then unexpectedly Willie shows up wearing a tux and looking ever so eloquent. What is the audience to think?! By drawing the audience to question Willie?s every motivation, Beckett has added opposition and tension to Willie?s character, enhancing the plays absurdidity.

3. Minnie is living in a world of fantasy and thought. She analyzes everything from the possessions in her bag to death. Tall blades of grass surround Winnie, forcing her to retaliate to her own little spot in the world. When Peter Brook states the fact the she is ?buried in the ground is not a virtue, it is the element that blinds her to the rest of her situation? he is saying that her naiveté is not due to the grass that masks her from reality, it is Winnie?s unconscious element that hides her from realizing that she chooses to be buried in the ground. Perhaps Winnie can leave her place; perhaps that is exactly what Willie did. He decided that it was his time to leave and when he tried to ?wake? Winnie and help her escape, Winnies unconscious shut him out. Although Winnie wanted to go with him, she didn?t have the strength to battle her own unconscious. When Willie tells her to ?Win? he mean to win the battle she is fighting against her own element.

4. I think it was safe to say that the family in Glass Menagerie is unstable. It would be unfair analyze the 1930?s time setting based off of the family?s way of living. SO by using the generalities throughout the play we can get a sense of what it was like during that time period. First of all if a women wanted to get married a gentleman suitor would come and take her on a date or have dinner with her family. The feeling is is that a daughter should get married as quick as possible and the family cannot retire or rest until that ?task? is accomplished. Marriage does not seem to incorporate a great deal of love. If a man is willing then the daughter really has no say in it and is basically forced to marry. Entertainment was very different back then. For a ?good time? Tom would go to the movies and watch commercials or magic shows. Proving that we have come a long way since then.

5. Tennessee Williams view women as very different from each other. Amanda is a high-strung character the wont settle until her timid daughter is married. Amanda is a constant complainer who does more nagging then nurturing. And is always finding a way to better her children, from marriage to business school. Laura is a meek and shy character who skews from responsibilities through her glass collection. Both women characters are in a sense impractical and strife to find safety and security in the world. Compared to Tom the women are confused and unwilling to be content. Perhaps Tennessee Williams is using his own mother to incorporate Amanda and Laura?s personalities.

6. During the Play Laura escapes to her glass menagerie Tom and Amanda also escape, Tom to the movies and Amanda to setting up the dinner for which a gentleman suitor will be attending. Tom cannot stand being in the house with his mother. Because Laura really has no opinion, Tom is the only one that Amanda can vent to. Therefore she forces Tom to escape to a fake reality: the movies. In movies everything is fake; it is a world that is made up to be someone?s idea of heaven or hell (so to speak). Tom can escape his world and enter a simulated idea of reality. Amanda absorbs herself in organization. She must have control over everything that happens so when the suitor arrives he will be impressed with the dinner and ultimately want to marry Laura. By submersing herself in planning, Amanda does not have to think about any other affliction that might disturb the night, like how Laura and The suitor will associate with each other.

7. At the end of the play Laura Blows out the candle that was burning while Him and her were speaking. I think that Laura is blowing out her illusions. I think that Laura is ready to begin a new life for herself. Jim has giving her the social skills and confidence she was lacking in just ten minuets and Laura can now face the world. She needed that genuine nurturing from another person. When her mother is trying to console her, Laura is smiling. She is ready to start her life.