The Glass Menagerie Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


The Glass Menagerie Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

Hello Friends, In this post “The Glass Menagerie Scene 2 Full Summary“, We will read about the Summary Of Glass Menagerie Scene 2 in detail with an In-depth Analysis. So…

Let’s Start…The Glass Menagerie Scene 2 Full Summary

The Glass Menagerie Scene 2 Full Summary

As Scene 2 begins, the stage is dark, and an image of blue roses appears on the screen. Music plays.

Then a light shines on Laura, the blue roses disappear, and the music stops. (Williams calls this scene, “Laura, Haven’t You Ever Liked Some Boy?”)

The stage directions say that Laura “is seated in the delicate ivory chair.” wearing “a dress of soft violet material.”

(Williams uses the words “delicate” and “soft” to describe the scene and also to show that Laura is delicate (easily broken) and soft.

He also uses the calm colors of blue water and the violet dress to show that Laura is quiet- not dramatic like her mother.)

Laura is washing and polishing her collection of glass animals. They are pretty but easily broken things. They are symbols for Laura who also is pretty but not strong.

Laura hears Amanda coming up the steps of the fire escape. Laura pushes her glass animals away, sits in front of the typewriter, and pretends to be studying a diagram of a typewriter keyboard.

In his notes, the playwright writes, “Something has happened to Amanda’ Williams writes that Amanda looks unhappy and hopeless. She is dressed in her best, but old, clothes that she usually wears to D.A.R. meetings.

(D.A.R meetings are meetings of the Daughters of the American Revolution meetings of women who teach people about their ancestors and others who had fought in the Revolutionary War that led to the creation of the United States and its separation from England.)

Clearly, Williams wants the audience to see that Amanda is fake; she is trying to look like the rich lady that she had been when she was young, but she doesn’t have the money to do it.

Williams also shows how Amanda likes to be dramatic. The stage directions say, “Before entering, she looks through the door.

She purses her lips, opens her eyes very wide, rolls them upward, and shakes her head. Then she slowly lets herself in the door”

As Amanda enters, Laura says nervously, “Hello, mother, I was-” Laura stops talking and looks at the typewriting chart. Amanda looks at her daughter and angrily asks “Deception? Deception?”

Note: The word “deception” means to say something that is untrue or to act in a way that makes someone believe something that is not true.

Amanda is asking why Laura has tricked her (misled her).

Amanda’s use of this word reminds the audience that Tom, at the beginning of Scene One, had spoken of illusion.

Deception is a trick or illusion. People trick themselves and others to hide from reality, so they can hide from truths they don’t like.

Note: In his notes, the playwright says Amanda looks like she is suffering.

The playwright says she acts out her anger by slowly taking off her hat and gloves and letting them fall on the floor.

Amanda takes a handkerchief out of her purse and touches it to her lip and nose. Laura, Seeing that her mother is unhappy, asks if her mother had gone as she had planned to her D.A.R. meeting.

Amanda weakly says, “No”‘ Then she strongly says, “No!” She says she didn’t have the strength or courage to go to her meeting.

She says she had wanted to hide in a hole forever. (She was so embarrassed that she did not want anyone to see her.)

Amanda takes the typewriting chart off the wall. Amanda looks sadly at the chart and tears it into two pieces. Laura asks weakly, “Why
did you do that, Mother? Amanda takes the shorthand chart off the wall.

Note: Shorthand is a way to write quickly using simple lines to represent letters or words.

Amanda looks sadly at the chart and tears it into two pieces. Laura asks weakly, “Why are you…”

Amanda repeats Laura’s question, “Why? Why?” Amanda asks Laura how old she is and Laura says her mother knows how old she is.
(She is 23.) Amanda says she thought Laura was an adult, but she was mistaken.

Amanda sits down and stares at (looks at) Laura. Laura asks her to stop staring. Amanda closes her eyes and sits silently for a few seconds.

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Then she asks, “What are we going to do, what is going to become of us, what is the future?” Laura asks her mother if something has happened.

Amanda says she will be okay, but she is “bewildered [(confused)] by life.” Laura keeps asking her mother to tell her what has happened.

Finally, her mother begins to explain. She says that she was supposed to be inducted into the office at the meeting. (She means she was supposed to be honored by being chosen as a leader of her Daughters of the American Revolution group.)

Stage directions say that “a swarm of typewriters” appears on the screen on the wall.

(The typewriters symbolize reality swarming and attacking both Amanda and Laura. The reality is that Amanda cannot make her daughter successful and Laura cannot make herself enter difficult situations.)

Finally, Amanda explains that she did not go to her meeting because she had stopped by Rubicam’s Business College where Laura said she had been going to class.

Amanda had wanted to let someone at the school know that Laura had a cold, and Amanda had wanted to ask how Laura was doing in class.

Amanda says a typing teacher at the business college told her that Laura only had come to class for a few days.

The teacher showed Amanda the attendance records and said Laura had been “terribly shy” (nervous and frightened), had become sick to her stomach when taking a test, and had never come back.

The school had called to ask if Laura was dropping out, but no one had answered the phone. Amanda tells Laura the school’s phone calls must have come when Amanda had been working at Famous and Barr (a department store in St. Louis).

Amanda says she had been so weak (because she had been so unhappily surprised) that she had had to sit down and had been given a drink of water.

Amanda says $50 (the cost of the school) and all of her “hopes and ambitions” for her daughter had “gone up the spout” (had quickly gone away). Laura breathes in.

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Note: Neither Amanda nor Laura truly acts like an adult. Both women pretend their lives are better than they are, so it is ironic (the opposite of what is expected) that Amanda is surprised that her daughter does not act like an adult.

It is also ironic that Amanda says she thought her daughter was an adult. If Amanda truly believed her daughter was an adult, she would not have gone to the school to ask how Laura was doing in class.

Finally, it is ironic that Amanda is unhappy about Laura tricking her into thinking that Laura had been learning to type.

Amanda, herself, has been trying to trick people into thinking that she is still a rich, Southern lady when she really is a woman with very little money. Amanda and Laura do not accept reality, and both are trying to escape it.

Laura gets up with difficulty (because of her bad leg) and walks over to the Victrola (the music player) and winds it up. When Laura’s mother asks her what she is doing. Laura says, “Oh!” and goes back to her chair.

Amanda asks Laura where she has been going when she has been pretending to go to business college. Laura says that instead of going to class, she has been walking along the winter streets.

Amanda asks where Laura walked. Amanda says Laura only had a light coat. Laura says she walked to many places- mostly in the park.

Amanda asks if Laura continued walking even after she started to get a cold. Laura says, “It was the lesser of two evils, Mother”

Note: Laura is saying that she had two choices and both of them were bad. She could tell her mother that she was not going to a business college or she could pretend she was going to a business college.

Laura thought that the better choice was to pretend she was still going to class. It was easier to be cold and walk around for six weeks than to make her mother angry.

An image of a winter scene in a park appears on the screen, and Laura tells her mother that she could not make herself go back to school because she had thrown up on the floor. (Laura was too embarrassed to go back.)

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Amanda questions how Laura could walk around in the winter from 7:30 a.m until after 5:00 p.m. every day. Laura says that to get warm she sometimes went to the art museum.

Sometimes, she went to the zoo to see birds and penguins. Sometimes she went to the movies, and many times she went to the Jewel Box – a large greenhouse with tropical flowers.

Note: People may still visit the Jewel Box in Forest Park in St. Louis today. The park, like many city parks, has beautiful natural areas as well as museums and a zoo.

Williams again shows that Laura is like glass, beautiful but easily broken and that she is like a tropical flower that needs to be taken care of in order to survive reality’s difficulties.

One break in greenhouse glass could let in cold air to kill tropical flowers. Laura’s sickness in class made her feel like a tropical flower in winter’s cold air.

Laura had become too embarrassed to go back to class to become a typist who could get a job. As a result, her chance to survive without help in the real world was ended.

Note: Even though Amanda and Laura are very different, they both are similar because they are trying to escape the reality that they have very little money, security, or happiness.

Laura escapes reality by finding the world, espied beauty is he in her glass figurines and music. Amanda escapes reality by thinking about her happy times as a young woman.

Amanda says, “You did all this to deceive me, just for deception? Why?” (Amanda wants to know why Laura has been pretending to go to school. Amanda doesn’t understand that Laura is afraid of her mother, afraid of what other people think about her, and afraid of life.)

Laura says why she did not tell her mother the truth: “Mother, when you’re disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus’ mother in the museum!”

Note: Laura’s comparison of Amanda’s suffering to the suffering of Jesus’ mother Mary shows how big Amanda thinks Laura’s failure is and how Amanda makes problems worse with big reactions.

Both Amanda and Mary were similar because they loved and worried about their children, but according to the Christian Bible, the death of Jesus affected the whole world while the death of Laura’s chance to work affected only her and her family.

Jesus’ mother has a “suffering face” because of the death of her son. Jesus was killed because he said he was the son of God, and he taught people to act differently than their countries’ leaders wanted them to act.

Many people were beginning to listen to Jesus instead of to their leaders, so he was killed.

Laura’s mother has a suffering face because of the death of her daughter’s chance to have a good future.

By not attending business classes, Laura’s future, her chance to have a happy life, has died. She has no way to get a job, earn money, and take care of herself.

Laura tells her mother, “I couldn’t face it” (She could not make herself tell her mother the truth. She could not make herself go to school, be tested, and be found to be a bad student. She could not make herself interact with others.)

Very soft music plays, and the words “The Crust of Humility” are shown on the screen on the wall. The screen, with its words and images, often appears while music plays.

The screen and music are used to show Tom’s strongest thoughts and memories about his mother, sister, and life.

The words “The Crust of Humility” show that women like Laura and Amanda who have no husbands to support them are able to have only the things others do not want.

They are given the crusts of bread (which are symbols of humility, of unimportance) while married women can eat whole slices of bread (which are symbols of importance, pride, and success).

Amanda tells Laura that she cannot live her life only playing with her glass menagerie and playing “those worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of him.” (Laura’s playing of her father’s records symbolizes her inability to move forward after her father left the family)

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Amanda says without a career, women are dependent on others for their whole life. Amanda says she had seen women in the South who had no job or husband and who had to live with a sister’s husband or a brother’s wife.

Amanda says some of those women had to live in rooms that felt like mousetraps, and some moved from one in-law’s house to another.

Amanda says they were “birdlike women without any nest- eating the crust of humility all their life!” (Amanda does not want herself and Laura to have to live like trapped mice or birdlike women.)

Amanda says Laura can be dependent all of her life or she can marry. Amanda asks if Laura has ever liked some boy. Laura says yes and that she had seen his picture recently.

Amanda is interested and asks if he had given Laura his picture. Laura says no, and says his picture was in their high school yearbook.

Amanda is disappointed that the boy was only a high-school boy, but an image of a boy whom the playwright calls a “high-school hero” appears on the screen.

Laura shows her yearbook to her mother. Laura says the picture is one of Jim, the boy she liked in high school, acting in the operetta (musical) the senior class had performed.

The name of the operetta was The Pirates of Penzance. Laura says Jim had had a wonderful voice and had sat across the aisle from her in the auditorium every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Next, Laura shows her mother a picture of Jim smiling and holding a silver cup he won for debating (for competing to be the best argumentative speaker).

Laura tells her mother that one day she had told Jim that she had been away from school because she had been sick with pleurosis (painful inflammation of the lungs).

Because he did not hear the name of the illness clearly, Jim began calling her “Blue Roses,” and continued to call her “Blue Roses” every time he saw her. (Blue roses appear on the screen.)

Laura says she didn’t like Emily Meisenbach, the girl that Jim dated (went out with) in high school. Laura says she thought Emily was well dressed but not very sincere. Laura says that Jim and Emily were engaged six years ago, so they must be married now.

Amanda stands up and says with excitement that women who cannot do well in the business get married, and that is what Laura will do-get married!

Laura says uncomfortably that she is “crippled” (a rude word describing someone unable to use a leg or an arm). She picks up a glass animal.

Note: Because one of her legs is shorter than the other and is not strong, Laura does not think anyone would marry her. She gets comfort from her glass animal.

Amanda looks at her husband’s photograph. She tells Laura to never use the word “cripple” and tells her that she must learn to be charming (learn to use her words and actions to make people happy).

Amanda, still looking at the picture of her husband, says, “That’s all you have to do! [Be charming.] One thing your father had plenty of-was

(Amanda is saying that a person only needs to be charming to get a husband or a wife. Her husband had not been rich or smart, but he had been charming.) Tom signals for music and music plays. The scene ends.

Notes: In Scene 2, both mother and daughter are thinking about the past to try to find a way to have a good future. The scene is full of memories.

Laura remembers Jim, a high school boy she liked, and Amanda remembers her husband. Laura looks at Jim’s high school pictures and Amanda looks at the picture of Laura’s father.

Although the images are not on the memory screen on the wall, the pictures of Laura’s friend and Amanda’s husband show the power of memories.

Williams has music play as the scene ends. Pictures and music are in memories and dreams. Amanda’s and Laura’s memories are of what happened in the past, and their dreams are of finding happiness in the future.

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