I can’t believe I found this. Hahahah…It was horrible. I swore off acting after this experience. But, this class (Basic Acting) was my first close encounter with the theatrical world. And I end up falling in love with that world, so in a way, I have this class to thank for. So, this was my assignment for the final exam at that time. I played Amanda Wingfield from the play “The Glass Menagerie”. This was my character analysis, created to help me act in the final exam (if I’m not mistaken). So, come and meet Amanda Wingfield!
Name : Eugenia Lupita / 11410023
Play : The Glass Menagerie
Character : Amanda Wingfield
GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES :
- Who : Amanda Wingfield
- General : A mother, has two children with no husband, her children are called Laura Wingfield and Tom Wingfield.
- Specific : Amanda expects Laura to be more confident and ‘all-out’ while expecting her gentleman caller.
- What : Amanda is preparing Laura for her gentleman caller and while doing so, she’s also reminiscing her past with her own gentleman caller.
- Where :
- Physical : In Laura’s bedroom. There’s a bed in the corner of the room complete with a bed side table. On the bed side table, there is a photograph and a lamp. On the foot of the bed, there’s a portiere and there’s also a sofa in the middle with two chairs and a table with a vase on top of it. There’s also a door which leads to the living room and the kitchen.
- Social : Amanda is a lively woman who has experienced hardship in the past. She has two children but with no husband, that is why she wants to make sure that Laura has someone good to take care of her when Amanda dies. Also, she wants Tom to be more responsible to the family, but her main concern is still on Laura’s well-being.
- When :
- Moment of the scene : It happens in the evening. Amanda is preparing Laura for her gentleman caller, but Laura does not really fond of the idea. It was dark outside with clouds rolling as a sign that it is going to rain.
- Historical time : The time when Tom finally succeed to bring Jim to his house as his sister’s gentleman caller.
OBJECTIVES / OBSTACLES :
- Superobjective : To find Laura a good husband or Laura’s future
- Primary obstacle : Laura’s condition (Her crippled leg)
- Secondary obstacle : Laura’s personality (Shy and not confident about herself)
- Immediate objective : Make Laura meet Jim no matter what happen
- Primary obstacle : Laura’s resistance to meet Jim
REHEARSED FUTURE :
- Character’s vision of their best possible future
- Laura has a nice husband and lives happily then Amanda will live with Laura and her husband.
- Character’s vision of their worst possible future
- Laura will not find a husband and then they will grow old together. Then, Laura will have no one to look after her after Amanda died.
CRUCIAL EVENTS JUST PRIOR TO THIS SCENE :
- Tom has finally succeeded in bringing his friend, Jim O’Connor to his house as his sister’s gentleman caller.
MOMENT BEFORE BEGINNING OF THIS SCENE :
- What was I just doing?
- I was fussing about Jim’s arrival and then told Laura to make a wish to the moon and asked for happiness.
- What am I doing this very second (a task)?
- I’m preparing Laura and myself to welcome Jim in to our apartment.
- What do I want as I enter?
- I want Laura to be well prepared and as beautiful as she can be for Jim’s arrival.
- What kind of temperament do I have?
- Talkative, exaggerating things, worried over the simplest thing about Laura and her gentleman caller.
- What hobbies do I have?
- Collecting Jonquils
- What rhythm do I have : Fast
- How do I dress : Expressive, magnificent, bold
- My favorite color : Bright colors
- My favorite object : Jonquils
BEATS IN THE SCENE :
[Open boxes and tissue paper are scattered on the floor.
LAURA stands in the middle with lifted arms while AMANDA crouches before her, adjusting the hem of the new dress, devout and ritualistic. The dress is coloured and designed by memory. The arrangement Of LAURA’s hair is changed; it is softer and more becoming. A fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in LAURA: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.]
AMANDA [impatiently]: Why are you trembling?
LAURA: Mother, you’ve made me so nervous!
A M A N D A: How have I made you nervous?
LAURA: By all this fuss! You make it seem so important!
AMANDA: I don’t understand you, Laura. You couldn’t be satisfied with just sitting home, and yet whenever I try to arrange something for you, you seem to resist it. [She gets up.] Now take a look at yourself. No, wait! Wait just a moment – I have an idea!
LAURA: What is it now?
[AMANDA produces two powder puffs which she wraps in handkerchiefs and stuffs in LAURA’s bosom.]
LAURA: Mother, what are you doing?
AMANDA: They call them ‘Gay Deceivers’!
LAURA: I won’t wear them!
AMANDA: YOU Will!
LAURA: Why should I?
AMANDA: Because, to be painfully honest, your chest is flat.
LAURA: You make it seem like we were setting a trap.
AMANDA: All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be!
[LEGEND: ‘ A PRETTY TRAP’]
Now look at yourself, young lady. This is the prettiest you will ever be! I’ve got to fix myself now ! You’re going to be surprised by your mother’s appearance! [She crosses through portières, humming gaily.]
[LAURA moves slowly to the long mirror and stares solemnly at herself. A wind blows the white curtains inward in a slow, graceful motion and with a faint, sorrowful sighing.]
AMANDA [off stage]: It isn’t dark enough yet. [LAURA turns slowly before the mirror with a troubled look.]
LEGEND ON SCREEN: ‘ THIS IS MY SISTER: CELEBRATE HER WITH STRINGS!’ MUSIC.]
AMANDA [laughing, off]: I’m going to show you something. I’m going to make a spectacular appearance I
LAURA: What is it, Mother?
AMANDA: Possess your soul in patience? You will see !
Something I’ve resurrected from that old trunk! Styles haven’t changed so terribly much after all.
[She parts the portières.]
Now just look at your mother!
[She wears a girlish frock of yellowed voile with a blue silk sash. She carries a bunch of jonquils – the legend of her youth is nearly revived.]
[Feverishly]: This is the dress in which I led the cotillion, won the cakewalk twice at Sunset Hill, wore one spring to the Governor’s ball in Jackson!
See how I sashayed around the ballroom, Laura?
[She raises her skirt and does a mincing step around the room.]
I wore it on Sundays for my gentlemen callers! I had it on the day I met your father I had malaria fever all that spring. The change of climate from East Tennessee to the Delta – weakened resistance I had a little temperature all the time – not enough to be serious – just enough to make me restless and giddy I Invitations poured in – parties all over the Delta! – ‘Stay in bed,’ said mother, ‘you have fever!’ – But I just wouldn’t. – I took quinine but kept on going, going! Evenings, dances! – Afternoons, long, long rides! Picnics. – Lovely! – So lovely, that country in May. – All lacy with dogwood, literally flooded with jonquils! – That was the spring I had the craze for jonquils. Jonquils became an absolute obsession. Mother said, ‘Honey, there’s no more room for jonquils.’ And still I kept on bringing in more jonquils. Whenever, wherever I saw them, I’d say, “Stop! Stop! I see jonquils! I made the young men help me gather the jonquils! It was a joke, Amanda and her jonquils! Finally there were no more vases to hold them; every available space was filled with jonquils. No vases to hold them? All right, I’ll hold them myself – And then I – [She stops in front of the picture. M U S I C.] Met your father! Malaria fever and jonquils and then – this – boy….
[She switches on the rose-colored lamp.]
I hope they get here before it starts to rain.
[She crosses upstage and places the jonquils in bowl on table.]
I gave your brother a little extra change so he and Mr O’Connor could take the service car home.
LAURA [with altered look]: What did you say his name was?
LAURA: What is his first name?
AMANDA: I don’t remember. Oh, yes, I do. It was – Jim!
[LAURA sways slightly and catches hold of a chair.
LEGEND ON SCREEN: ‘ NOT JIM!’]
LAURA [faintly]: Not – Jim!
AMANDA: Yes, that was it, it was Jim! I’ve never known a Jim, that wasn’t nice!
LAURA: Are you sure his name is Jim O’Connor?
AMANDA: Yes. Why?
LAURA: Is he the one that Tom used to know in high school?
AMANDA: He didn’t say so. I think he just got to know him at the warehouse.
LAURA: There was a Jim O’Connor we both knew in high school – [Then, with effort.] If that is the one that Tom is bringing to dinner – you’ll have to excuse me, I won’t come to the table.
AMANDA: What sort of nonsense is this?
LAURA: You asked me once if I’d ever liked a boy. Don’t you remember I showed you this boy’s picture?
AMANDA: You mean the boy you showed me in the year book?
LAURA: Yes, that boy.
AMANDA: Laura, Laura, were you in love with that boy?
LAURA: I don’t know, Mother. All I know is I couldn’t sit at the table if it was him!
AMANDA: It won’t be him! It isn’t the least bit likely. But whether it is or not, you will come to the table. You will not be excused.
LAURA: I’ll have to be, Mother.
AMANDA: I don’t intend to humor your silliness, Laura. I’ve had too much from you and your brother, both!
So just sit down and compose yourself till they come. Tom has forgotten his key so you’ll have to let them in, when they arrive.
LAURA [panicky]: Oh, Mother – you answer the door!
AMANDA [lightly]: Ill be in the kitchen – busy!
LAURA: Oh, Mother, please answer the door, don’t make me do it!
AMANDA [crossing into kitchenette]: I’ve got to fix the dressing for the salmon. Fuss, fuss – silliness! Over a gentleman caller !
[Door swings Shut. LAURA is left alone
LEGEND: ‘ TERROR!’
She utters a low moan and turns off the lamp – sits stiffly on the edge of the sofa, knotting her fingers together.
LEGEND ON SCREEN: ‘ THE OPENING OF A DOOR!’
T0M and JIM appear on the fire-escape steps and climb to landing. Hearing their approach, LAURA rises with a panicky gesture. She retreats to the portières.
The doorbell, LAURA catches her breath and touches her throat. Low drums.]
AMANDA [calling]: Laura, sweetheart! The door!
[LAURA stares at it without moving.]