THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Monologue #1 - Page 27
Tom angrily responds to his mother’s claim that he is selfish.
TOM: Look, Mother, do you think I'm crazy about the warehouse? You think I'm in love with the Continental Shoemakers? You think I want to spend fifty-five years of my life down there in that—celotex interior! with fluorescent tubes?! Honest to God, I'd rather somebody picked up a crow-bar and battered out my brains— than go back mornings! But I go! Sure, every time you come in yelling that bloody Rise and Shine! Rise and shine!! I think how lucky dead people are! But I get up. I go! For sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say that self is all I think of. Oh, God! Why, Mother, if self is all I ever thought of, Mother, I'd be where he is—GONE! As far as the system of transportation reaches!
And will I be glad! Will I be happy! And so will you be. You'll go up—up--over Blue Mountain on a broomstick! With seventeen gentlemen callers. You ugly babbling old witch!
Monologue #2 - Page 55
Tom is talking to his friend and coworker Jim about his desire for a change in his life.
TOM: I'm tired of the movies. Look at them. All of those glamorous people—having adventures—hogging it all, gobbling the whole thing up! You know what happens? People go to the movies instead of moving. Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them having it! Yes, until there's a war. That's when adventure becomes available to the masses! Everyone's dish, not only Gable's! Then the people in the dark room come out of the dark room to have some adventures themselves—goody—goody! It's our turn now to go to the South Sea Island—to make a safari-- to be exotic, far off...! But I'm not patient. I don't want to wait till then. I'm tired of the movies and I'm about to move!
I’m starting to boil inside. I know I seem dreamy, but inside—well, I'm boiling! Whenever I pick up a shoe I shudder a little, thinking how short life is and what I am doing! ---Whatever that means, I know it doesn't mean shoes—except as something to wear on a traveler's feet!
Monologue #1 - Page 21
Amanda has discovered that Laura has secretly stopped going to business college, upsetting Amanda's plans for Laura's independence.
AMANDA: So what are we going to do now, honey, the rest of our lives? Just sit down in this house and watch the parades go by? Amuse ourselves with the glass menagerie? Eternally play those worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of him? We can't have a business career.
No, we can't do that—that just gives us indigestion. Fifty dollars' tuition. I don't care about the money so much, but all my hopes for any kind of future for you— gone up the spout, just gone up the spout like that. What is there left for us now but dependency all our lives? I tell you, Laura, I know so well what happens to unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy a position in life.
I've seen such pitiful cases in the South—barely tolerated spinsters living on some brother's wife or a sister's husband—tucked away in some little mousetrap of a room—encouraged by one in-law to go on and visit the next in-law—little birdlike women—without any nest—eating the crust of humility all their lives! Is that the future that we've mapped out for ourselves? I swear I don't see any other alternative. And I don't think that's a very pleasant alternative. Of course—some girls do marry. My goodness, Laura, haven't you ever liked some boy?
Little girls who aren't cut out for business careers sometimes end up married to very nice young men. And I'm just going to see that you do that, too!
Monologue #2 - Page 56
Amanda introduces herself to Jim O’Connor, Tom’s coworker at the shoe warehouse who has come to have dinner.
AMANDA: Well, well, well, so this is Mr. O'Connor? Introduction's entirely unnecessary. I've heard so much about you from my boy. I finally said to him, “Tom, good gracious, why don't you bring this paragon to supper finally? I'd like to meet this nice young man at the warehouse! Instead of just hearing you sing his praises so much?” I don't know why my son is so standoffish—that's not Southern behavior. Let's sit down.
Let's sit down, and I think we could stand a little more air in here. Tom, leave the door open. I felt a nice fresh breeze a moment ago. Where has it gone to? Mmmm, so warm already! And not quite summer, even. We're going to burn up when summer really gets started. However, we're having—we're having a very light supper. I think light things are better fo'--for this time of year. The same as light clothes are. Light clothes and light food are what warm weather calls fo'. You know our blood gets so thick during th' winter—it takes a while fo' us to adjust ou'selves—when the season changes... It's come so quick this year. I wasn't prepared. All of a sudden—Heavens! Already summer!--I ran to the trunk an'--pulled out this light dress—terribly old! Historical almost! But feels so good—so good and cool.
Honey, you go ask sister if supper is ready! You know that sister is in full charge of supper. Tell her you hungry boys are waiting for it.
Monologue #1 - Page 22
This speech is a response to Amanda's line “My goodness, Laura, haven't you ever liked some boy?”
LAURA: Yes, Mother, I liked one once. I came across his picture a while ago. It's in the yearbook. A high-school boy. His name was Jim. Here he is in The Pirates of Penzance, the operetta the senior class put on. He had a wonderful voice. We sat across the aisle from each other Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the auditorium. Here he is with a silver cup for debating! See his grin!
He used to call me—Blue Roses. When I had that attack of pleurosis—he asked me what the matter was when I came back. I said pleurosis—he thought that I said “Blue Roses.” So that's what he always called me after that. Whenever he saw me, he'd holler, “Hello, Blue Roses!” I didn't care for the girl he went out with. Emily Meisenbach. Oh, Emily was the best-dressed girl at Soldan. But she never struck me as being sincere... I read in a newspaper once that they were engaged.
That's a long time ago—they're probably married by now.
Monologue #2 - Page 65-71 (To be read as a continuous monologue)
Laura is speaking to Jim O’Connor, whom she had a crush on in high school. He has shown up unexpectedly as Tom’s dinner guest, and after her initial shock, Laura speaks with him alone in the living room.
LAURA: I sat across the aisle from you in the auditorium. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I always came in late. It was so hard for me, getting upstairs. I had that brace on my leg then—it clumped so loud! To me it sounded like—thunder!
Everybody was seated before I came in. I had to walk in front of all those people. My seat was in the back row. I had to go clumping up the aisle with everyone watching! It was always such a relief when the singing started.
You used to call me Blue Roses. I was out of school a little while with pleurosis. When I came back you asked me what was the matter. I said I had pleurosis and you thought I said Blue Roses. So that's what you always called me after that! I didn't mind—I liked it. You see, I wasn't acquainted with many—people... I never did have much luck at making friends.
(Page 69) Now I don't do anything—much... Oh, please don't think I sit around doing nothing! My glass collection takes a good deal of time. Glass is something you have to take good care of.
(Page 71) Little articles of it, ornaments mostly. Most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them the glass menagerie! Here's an example of one, if you'd like to see it! This is one of the oldest, it's nearly thirteen. Oh, be careful—if you breathe, it breaks!
Go on, I trust you with him! There—you're holding him gently! Hold him over the light, he loves the light! See how the light shines through him? I shouldn't be partial, but he is my favorite one.
Monologue - Page 66-74 (To be read as one continuous monologue)
Jim talks with Laura alone after dinner. The two were in the same class in high school.
JIM: Say, you know something, Laura? People are not so dreadful when you know them. That's what you have to remember! And everybody has problems, not just you but practically everybody has problems. You think of yourself as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and what do you see—a lot of people just as disappointed as you are. You take me, for instance. Boy, when I left high school I thought I'd be a lot further along at this time than I am now. Say, you remember that wonderful write-up I had in The Torch? Said I was bound to succeed in anything I went into!
(Page 69) You know what I judge to be the trouble with you? Inferiority complex! You know what that is? That's what they call it when a fellow low-rates himself! Oh, I understand it because I had it, too. Uh-huh! Only my case was not as aggravated as yours seems to be.
(Page 70) That's what I judge to be your principal trouble. A lack of confidence in yourself as a person. Now I'm basing that fact on a number of your remarks and on certain observations I've made. For instance, that clumping you thought was so awful in high school. You say that you dreaded to go upstairs? You see what you did? You dropped out of school, you gave up an education all because of a little clump, which as far as I can see is practically nonexistent! Oh, a little physical defect is all you have. It's hardly noticeable even! Magnified a thousand times by your imagination!
(Page 74) You think I'm saying this because I'm invited to dinner and have to be nice. Oh, I could do that! I could say lots of things without being sincere. But I'm talking to you sincerely. I happened to notice you had this inferiority complex that keeps you from feeling comfortable with people. Somebody ought to build your confidence up—way up! And make you proud instead of shy and turning away and—blushing--
Somebody—ought to—Somebody ought to—kiss you, Laura!