Course Hero Logo

The Glass Menagerie | Study Guide

Tennessee Williams

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Glass Menagerie Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Dec. 2016. Web. 10 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, December 20). The Glass Menagerie Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Glass Menagerie Study Guide." December 20, 2016. Accessed June 10, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Glass Menagerie Study Guide," December 20, 2016, accessed June 10, 2023,

The Glass Menagerie | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Early winter 1937

    The characters' interactions reveal the family's dysfunction.

    Scene 1
  • Later in winter 1937

    Amanda discovers Laura has dropped out of business college.

    Scene 2
  • The same day

    Amanda realizes Laura cannot work and must marry.

    Scene 2
  • Early Spring 1937

    Amanda obsesses about finding Laura a husband.

    Scene 3
  • Later that day

    Tom and Amanda quarrel.

    Scene 3
  • Later

    Laura listens to drunken Tom's frustrations and asks him to apologize.

    Scene 4
  • The next day

    Tom apologizes and Amanda asks him to find a man for Laura.

    Scene 4
  • Thursday, mid-Spring 1937

    Tom invites Jim O'Connor to dinner.

    Scene 5
  • Later and next day

    Amanda frantically prepares for the gentleman caller.

    Scene 5
  • Friday, soon after 5 P.M.

    Laura panics when hearing Jim's name.

    Scene 6
  • About half an hour later

    The lights go out.

    Scene 7
  • Shortly after

    Laura relaxes as she and Jim talk; Laura shows Jim the glass unicorn.

    Scene 7
  • Moments later

    Laura and Jim dance; the unicorn breaks as they bump into the table.

    Scene 7
  • A little later

    Jim reveals his engagement and leaves.

    Scene 7
  • Moments later

    Amanda accuses Tom of lying.

    Scene 7
  • Not far in the future

    Tom gets fired from his job and leaves home.

    Scene 7

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Scene 1 Tom, as the narrator, walks toward the fire escape leading to the door of the apartment. He offers a brief summary of na... Read More
Scene 2 Laura is polishing her glass animals. When she hears her mother approaching, she pushes the bowl of glass animals aside ... Read More
Scene 3 Tom begins Scene 3 on the fire escape narrating events in the weeks since Amanda presented her plan to find Laura a husb... Read More
Scene 4 A church bell tolls 5:00 A.M. as Tom staggers home from a night watching movies and drinking. Laura lets him in and asks... Read More
Scene 5 It is spring. Laura and Amanda are cleaning up after dinner; Tom is reading the newspaper. Amanda hassles him about his ... Read More
Scene 6 Tom, as the narrator, provides background about Jim O'Connor, the gentleman caller. He explains that in high school wher... Read More
Scene 7 The rain ends, and the apartment lights go out. Jim checks the fuses at Amanda's request and finds out they are working ... Read More
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Glass Menagerie? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!