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The Glass Menagerie

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For my class, we are studying Glass Menagerie right now as it's one of the works we can use for Paper 2. I am unsure how set design and lighting develop theme. I know that Tom is the narrator and a character. Does Tom, as the narrator, have any influence over the set design and lighting? If so, how does this develop the theme of the unrelenting power of memory?

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For real? Just read the stage directions for the scenes and think for a moment: if the actor did that, what would it portray? If that happened on stage, what would I think? The narrator is a character in the play, created by the author so it's the author who created the stage directions and the author who created the characters. I've never heard of a play where the characters influence the stage directions(??!). If you've been asked that question it's a weird misnomer because of course you'd look a bit silly mistaking the characters within the play for somehow being separate from the play as a whole. They're not, any more than the characters in a novel are responsible for writing the novel(!!!). The author created the characters and the stage directions, so it's the intentions of the author and not of the character that link them together.

You've got to remember that it's a play so the actions of the characters that are described as physical directions for the actors are important. Don't treat the stage directions like themes, they're not themes, they're how the author wanted the play to be run.

The Glass Menagerie is a pretty easy one stage-direction wise, everything is quite transparent if you think for a few seconds. I suggest just re-reading it. Failing that if you've really no clue or struggle to imagine it all, watch a video of the performance.

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I suppose what I'm trying to get at is can stage directions develop theme? I'm not saying they are a theme, but how do they develop theme? I'm working on a group presentation and my task is to find ways that the theme of the unrelenting power of memory is developed. I was wondering to what extent do stage directions, lighting, and music develop this theme.

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