‘The Glass Menagerie’ (Tom)

Tom's Monologue from The Glass Menagerie

'The Glass Menagerie' by Tennessee Williams

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support his family but is frustrated by his job and aspires to be a poet.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 20's | 30's

Summary: Amanda Wingfield is a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom is driven nearly to distraction by his mother's nagging and seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies.

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TOM: What do you think I’m at? Aren’t I supposed to have any patience to reach the end of, Mother? 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 down there in that celotex interior? With fluorescent tubes? Look! I’d rather somebody picked up a crowbar and battered out my brains than go back mornings. But I go. For sixty five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! And you say self- self’s all I ever think of. Why listen, if self is what I thought of Mother, I’d be where he is, GONE

I’m going to the movies! I’m going to opium dens, yes, opium dens, Mother. I’ve joined the Hogan Gang, I’m a hired assassin, I carry a tommy gun in a violin case. I run a string of cat houses in the Valley. They call me Killer, Killer Wingfield. I’m leading a double life: a simple, honest warehouse worker by day, by night, a dynamic czar of the underworld, Mother. On occasion they call me El Diablo.

Oh I could tell you many things to make you sleepless. My enemies plan to dynamite this place. They’re going to blow us all sky high some night. I’ll be glad, very happy, and so will you! You’ll go up, up on a broomstick, over Blue Mountain with seventeen gentleman callers. You ugly, babbling old witch….

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