The Glass Menagerie
The female voice is an agency by which a particular point of view is expressed or represented to responders. The female voice is examined in the play “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams through the protagonist character of Amanda Wingfield. Williams uses techniques throughout the play such as speech, music and irony. Similarly in the text “Before I fall” by Lauren Oliver the female voice is highlighted through the main character of Samantha Kingston, as she discovers the benefits of living without regret. Oliver uses techniques to explain the female voice through…
The female voice in “The glass menagerie” is highlighted essentially through the character of Amanda and her nostalgia towards her past life. In the play Amanda uses speech when she talks about her past life she maintains that she had a lot of gentlemen callers “seventeen! –Gentlemen callers! ” she explains, a day that has been recounted so many times. The use of speech demonstrates to the responders Amanda’s voice through her evocative attitude about her past. As the play continues Amanda’s voice and her nostalgia towards her past life is demonstrated through music.
The stage directions She stops in front of the picture. Music plays this is used to enhance the feelings of regret that Amanda’s voice shows. Amanda’s feelings towards her past are linked with the theme of the play, appearance and reality. Amanda fluctuates between illusion and reality, recalling days of her youth, as it is her only defence against the boredom and emptiness of living. Through Amanda’s voice it is indicated that she hasn’t accepted her reality and clings to her views from the past. Williams uses Irony when Amanda accuses Tom of living in a dream ‘you live in a dream; you manufacture illusions’.
The use of Irony demonstrates that Amanda is the one who is living in the dream since she can’t move on from her past ways and life. Williams uses Amanda and her nostalgic feelings towards her past life to identify how the female voice is shown throughout the play. As well as through Amanda’s nostalgic feelings towards her past life the female voice is also emphasized through establishing the tone of the text. The tragic and bleak tone represents the Wingfield’s lifestyle both internal and external of their household. The housing in the neighborhood of St.
Louis is described as “warty growths” and the people as “one interfused mass of automatism”. This implies that the Wingfield’s are a part of a tedious and monotonous lifestyle. Within the Wingfield household the inanimate tone of the text is also presented. Amanda’s dominating personality has prompted their family to live in a state of tension. This tension has had a great effect on Tom and Laura’s relationship with Amanda as they have become distant and deceptive. This is evident after an argument between Amanda and Tom, resulting in Tom aggressively stating that he is going to the movies.
Amanda responds “I don’t believe that lie! “. This exclamatory phrase reveals the lack of trust and communication within their deteriorating family. Thus the composer has used tone to convey the female voice in which has effectively ruined a positive family affiliation. Before I Fall, written by Lauren Oliver similarly conveys the female voice to the responder through the use of pathetic fallacy. By attributing human emotions or characteristics to nature, the responder is able to anticipate a change in the mood of the text.
Pathetic fallacy is apparent in the novel when Sam says” The sound of the rain is louder than I thought and it startles me”, implying that the weather is enraged and creates suspense for the incident that follows. By doing so, the responder develops an instinct that tragedy or hardship is inevitable. The use of pathetic fallacy reveals the female voice of Samantha to a great extent as it creates an image of her emotions and situation and reflects this through the weather. Lauren Oliver’s representation of Samantha Kingston in Before I Fall closely explores the female voice.
Samantha’s character is conceited and insensitive which is a catalyst for her death. After being given a second chance the composer uses various tones to explore the overall emotions in the text. The tragic and nostalgic tone represents the sorrow and misery connected to her death. Samantha reminisces upon her past memories and experiences with her sister when she says, “I want to see you grow up and Don’t ever change” Sam realises that she never appreciated or cherished these moments prior to the accident.
This establishes the melancholic tone and emotions conveyed through the female voice. in addition, the tragic tone is expressed through the statement, “suddenly the car is flipping off the road and into the black mouth of the woods” which clearly represents the misfortune that has occurred, affecting the female voice significantly. Therefore, the composer’s effective use of tone has represented the female voice and her feelings and emotions attached to her death. The composer has used literary techniques in order to exhibit the characteristics of the female voice of Samantha Kingston.
Throughout the novel Sam feels various emotions that contribute to the audience’s understanding of her character. This is evident when Samantha experiences ” a bubbly feeling like someone has shaken my insides up like a coke bottle “. Through the use of the simile, Oliver has likened samantha’s joyfulness to the effervescence of a coke bottle. On another occasion, Samantha confesses that time can “slide like coins through your fingers”. This simile initiates a nostalgic tone, as Sam informs the responder that time is valuable and could end at any moment.
This contrast of emotions portrays the female voice of Samantha who experiences difficulty in re-living her life without regret. Overall, the effective use of similes has also created imagery allowing the audience to visualise the different emotions of the female voice over time. Through the use of the first person narration, the audience is given an insight into the feelings of samantha allowing the audience to empathise with her. Thus the composer has used techniques intrinsic to the form in order to convey the characteristics of samantha.
In conclusion, composer’s have utilised techniques both literary and dramatic effectively in order to convey the female voice. In the text The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the female voice of Amanda Wingfield has been expressed through tone, irony and symbolism in order to represent her inability to distinguish between illusion and reality. Correspondingly the text Before I Fall, composed by Lauren Oliver, conveys the female voice of Samantha through the tone, pathetic fallacy and similes which presents the nostalgic emotions associated with reliving her life again.