The Glass Menagerie

the glass menagerie

this play uses literary achpostrophe (i.e, the narrator directly adressing the reader) find an example. what does the technique do to or for the play?

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From the beginning, the figure of the narrator shows that Williams' play will not follow the conventions of realistic theatre. The narrator breaks the conceptual "fourth wall" of naturalistic drama by addressing the audience directly. Tom tells us that he is going to give the audience truth disguised as illusion, making the audience conscious of the chimerical quality of theatre. By playing with the theme of memory and its distortions, Williams is free to use music, monologues, and projected images to haunting effect. Tom, as narrator, tells the audience that the gentleman caller is a real person - more real, in many ways, than any other character - but he also tells the audience that the gentleman is a symbol for the "expected something that we live for," the thing for which we are always waiting and hoping. This naming of a character as both real entity and symbol is characteristic of Williams' work; both of these aspects of the gentleman caller are important to the overall impact of the play.