The Glass Menagerie

Possess your soul in patience - you will

Amanda Wingfield

The Glass Menagerie

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Basics

Character
Gender
Age Range
Style
Scene
Act 1, Scene 6
Time & Place
The Wingfield apartment in St. Louis, 1937
Length
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Amanda is obsessed with finding a suitor for her adult daughter, Laura - a girl with social anxiety

Monologue Text

Possess your soul in patience - you will see !

Something I've resurrected from that old trunk! Styles haven't changed so terribly much after all.

[She parts the portières.]

Now just look at your mother !

[She wears a girlish frock of yellowed voile with a blue silk sash. She carries a bunch of jonquils - the legend of her youth is nearly revived.]

[Feverishly]: This is the dress in which I led the cotillion, won the cakewalk twice at Sunset Hill, wore one spring to the Governor's ball in Jackson ! See how I sashayed around the ballroom, Laura?

[She raises her skirt and does a mincing step around the room.] I wore it on Sundays for my gentlemen callers ! I had it on the day I met your father. I had malaria fever all that spring. The change of climate from East Tennessee to the Delta - weakened resistance I had a little temperature all the time - not enough to be serious - just enough to make me restless and giddy. Invitations poured in - parties all over the Delta! - 'Stay in bed,' said mother, 'you have fever!' - but I just wouldn't. - I took quinine but kept on going, going ! Evenings, dances ! - Afternoons, long, long rides! Picnics. - lovely! - So lovely, that country in May. - All lacy with dogwood, literally flooded with jonquils! - That was the spring I had the craze for jonquils. Jonquils became an absolute obsession. Mother said, 'Honey, there's no more room for jonquils.' And still I kept on bringing in more jonquils. Whenever, wherever I saw them, I'd say, "Stop ! Stop! I see jonquils ! I made the young men help me gather the jonquils ! It was a joke, Amanda and her jonquils ! Finally there were no more vases to hold them, every available space was filled with jonquils. No vases to hold them? All right, I'll hold them myself - And then I - [She stops in front of the picture.] met your father ! Malaria fever and jonquils and then - this - boy.... [She switches on the rose-coloured lamp.] I hope they get here before it starts to rain.



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