Jarrod Cook

English Block 1

The Glass Menagerie comparison essay

Mrs. Rifenberick

September 9, 2002


            Have you ever read the book The Glass Menagerie and seen the movie?  There are more similarities between the book and the movie version than there are differences.  The movie does have some subtle differences but the movie script is almost identical to that of the book.  They both have the same setting and all the scenes take place in the apartment of the Wingfields.  All the characters also remain the same consisting of only Amanda Wingfield, her children Tom and Laura, and Jim O’Connor the gentleman caller.

            The differences between the two scripts may be slim but there are some differences.  One difference between the book and the movie is the use of the music.  The Glass Menagerie is a memory play and at the beginning of both the book and the movie, Tom states, “In memory everything seems to happen to music”(23).  Even though this is stated in the movie, there is only music in select parts of it.  Amanda’s personality also seems to be modified slightly from what it is in the book.  She seems to have a bit of an anger problem and is also very annoying in the movie.  Another difference between the movie and the book is the use of screen images.  In the book an image that has something to do with what is happening is displayed on a screen many times.

Some of Laura’s features that are in the book are also different in the movie.  Laura had a brace on her leg during high school because of a disability but the brace was no longer on during the movie.  In the movie Laura seemed like a normal person and you would probably not even be able to tell there was anything wrong with her had it not been for her family’s exaggeration of the disability.  Amanda also acts a very much like she was still young expecting gentleman callers at any moment.  When Jim comes over, Amanda flirts with him like she is the one trying to marry him instead of Laura.  Tom also seems different in the movie.  In the movie he is kind of creepy and it seems like he does not care much for his family and is just waiting for the chance to leave.  In the book he seems like a good person who wants to do the best for his family but wants to get out.

            Similarities are more common between the book and movie.  As aforementioned the scripts are almost identical to one another and there are only a few sections in which the movie strays from what is written in the book.  Most of the characters, with the exception of Amanda, follow the personalities that are described in the book.  The apartment is also set up the same way as it was in the book.  Even outside the apartment was the same with the dance hall in the alley and the fire escape.  The story lines of both the book and movie were also the same.  The movie deviates little from the book with the exception of the differences mentioned above.

            In comparing these the book, The Glass Menagerie, to the movie, they are very similar in content.  The differences lie in the personalities of the characters themselves and how they are portrayed.  It seems like when creating the movie they chose to stick as close to the book as possible.  They strayed very little from the script and the setting.