A Memory Play in Seven Scenes by Tennessee Williams
AMANDA WINGFIELD--the mother
A little woman of great but confused vitality clinging frantically to another time and place. Her characterization must be carefully created, not copied from type. She is not paranoiac, but her life is paranoia. There is much to admire in Amanda, and as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. Certainly she has endurance and a kind of heroism, and though her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel at times, there is tenderness in her slight person.
LAURA WINGFIELD--her daughter
Amanda, having failed to establish contact with reality, continues to live vitally in her illusions, but Laura's situation is even graver. A childhood illness has left her crippled, one leg slightly shorter than the other, and held in a brace. This defect need not be more than suggested on the stage. Stemming from this, Laura's separation increases till she is like a piece of her own glass collection, too exquisitely fragile to move from the shelf.
TOM WINGFIELD--her son
And the narrator of the play. A poet with a job in a warehouse. His nature is not remorseless, but to escape from a trap he has to act without pity.
JIM O'CONNOR--the gentleman caller
A nice, ordinary, young man.
Scene: An Alley in St. Louis
Time: Now and the Past
PART I. Preparation for a Gentleman Caller
PART II. The Gentleman calls
THE WINGFIELD APARTMENT is in the rear of the building, one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population and are symptomatic of the impulse of this largest and fundamentally enslaved section of American society to avoid fluidity and differentiation and to exist and function as one interfused mass of automatism.
The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire-escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these huge____________________
Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc. Copyright 1945 by Tennessee Williams and Edwina D. Williams.