Discourse Analysis of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie

George Mathew Nalliveettil, Mahmoud Sobhi Mohamed Gadallah


The Glass Menagerie is one of the Tennessee Williams’ most famous plays which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle award. It elevated him to be one of the greatest playwrights of his generation. As a playwright, he is skilful to make the readers conscious of the unconscious habits and attitudes in everyday life. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) portrayed family relationships and struggles against hopelessness that threatens their lives. The present study made a discourse analysis of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. This discourse analysis of the dialogic language was based on dialogic principles outlined by Weigand (2009). The researchers applied these principles to uncover conventional and unconventional elements embedded in the structures of the language. The study also analyzed the discourse contexts and their impact on the meaning of the given different situations that the main characters, i.e., Amanda, Laura, Tom Wingfield, encounter during the ongoing actions of the play. This research, furthermore, presented insights on how Tennessee Williams achieved the intended dramatic effect in the discourse of the characters. The introductory part of the research paper presented the features of a dramatic discourse in relation to language of The Glass Menagerie. A review of literature related to the play gives a summary of the literary and linguistic research carried out by different researchers to understand the play from various aspects. A detailed linguistic analysis unravels the functional aspects of dialogic discourse that are embedded in the lines of the text. The findings unfold the logics concealed in the dialogues and kind of structures used for dramatic effect.

Keywords: discourse, dialogic, dramatic, analysis, principles, characters

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