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The Glass Menagerie Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from The Glass Menagerie
  1. #1
    “But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without removing one nail. . . . There is a trick that would come in handy for me—get me out of this two-by-four situation! . . . You know it don’t take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?”
  2. #2
    “People go to the movies instead of moving! Hollywood characters are supposed to have all the adventures for everybody in America, while everybody in America sits in a dark room and watches them having them! Yes, until there’s a war. That’s when adventure becomes available to the masses!”
  3. #3
    “Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!”
  4. #4
    “No – I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shook so that she couldn’t hit the right keys! The first time we gave a speed test, she broke down completely – was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash room! After that morning she never showed up anymore. We phoned the house but never got any answer.”
  5. #5
    “When I had that attack of pleurosis - he asked me what was the matter when I came back. I said pleurosis he thought that I said Blue Roses! So that’s what he always called me after that. Whenever he saw me, he’d holler, ‘Hello, Blue Roses!”
  6. #6
    “With an outraged groan he tears the coat off again, splitting the shoulder of it, and hurls it across the room. It strikes against the shelf of Laura’s glass collection, and there is a tinkle of shattering glass. Laura cries out as if wounded. ‘My glass!—menagerie...‘”
  1. #7
    “Laura, stretched out on the sofa, clenches her hand to her lips, to hold back a shuddering sob.”
  2. #8
    “The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.”
  3. #9
    “Mother, when you’re disappointed, you get that awful suffering look on your face, like the picture of Jesus’ mother in the museum.”
  4. #10
    “I know your ambitions do not lie in the warehouse, that like everybody in the whole wide world—you’ve had to—make sacrifices, but—Tom—Tom—life’s not easy, it calls for—Spartan endurance!”
  5. #11
    “Glass breaks so easily. No matter how careful you are.”
  6. #12
    “Nonsense! Laura, I’ve told you never, never to use that word. Why, you’re not crippled, you just have a little defect - hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it - develop charm - and vivacity and - charm! That’s all you have to do!”

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  1. #13
    “The last we heard of him was a picture postcard from Mazatlan, on the Pacific coast of Mexico, containing a message of two words: ‘Hello — Goodbye!’ and no address. I think the rest of the play will explain itself. . .”
  2. #14
    “I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. . . . I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. . . . I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!”
  3. #15
    “I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places.”
  4. #16
    “I wish that you were my sister. I’d teach you to have some confidence in yourself. The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They’re one hundred times one thousand. You’re one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here. They’re common as—weeds, but—you—well, you’re—Blue Roses!”
  5. #17
    “She remains by the table, picks up a piece from the glass menagerie collection, and turns it in her hands to cover her tumult.”
  6. #18
    “I married a man who worked for the telephone company! [. . .] A telephone man who—fell in love with long-distance!”
  7. #19
    “Well, in the South we had so many servants. Gone, gone, gone. All vestige of gracious living! Gone completely! I wasn’t prepared for what the future brought me. All of my gentlemen callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes—and woman accepts the proposal!”
  8. #20
    “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.”
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