NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION QUEENS HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE SCIENCES AT YORK COLLEGE 94-50 159TH STREET JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11451 Telephone: 718-657-3181 Fax: 718-657-2579 Jie Zhang, Principal Lenneen Gibson, Assistant Principal Greg Reo, Assistant Principal SUMMER ASSIGNMENT FOR RISING SENIORS Tennessee Williams begins The Glass Menagerie with a comment by Tom Wingfield, who serves as both narrator of and character within the play: “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve.
But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. ” In one sentence, Williams has summarized the essence of all drama. To the very end of the play, he maintains a precarious balance between truth and illusion, creating in the process what he contends is the “essential ambiguity of man that I think needs to be stated. ” 1 The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams’ first major play to appear on Broadway, is an autobiographical work.
In it he delineates several personal and societal problems: the isolation of those who are outsiders for one reason or another, the hardships faced by single mothers, the difficulties a disability may create for a family, and the struggle of a young artist to begin his career. 2 Read The Glass Menagerie (1945) by Tennessee Williams and complete all parts of the assignment below. Moreover, you must complete the “Rising Senior Survival Guide” contained in this document. All work is due on the first day of class. 1 2 Magill on Literature Ibid Summer Reading The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Research:
Look up information and record your findings for the following items. This information will help your overall understanding of the play. 1. A definition and brief background on the role of the ? drummer? in American society 2. What are jonquils? What do they look like and how much do they cost? 3. What is Guernica? Describe it and note some background information. What famous person is linked with it? 4. What is a Daumier print and what does it look like? Who is Daumier? 5. What is the DAR and how does one become a member? 6. What is Frigidaire? What products does it manufacture? 7. What are the Merchant Marines? 8.
Contrast the ? cavalier? attitudes, manners, and mores of the pre-Civil War South vs. those of the ? mechanized? industrial antebellum South Vocabulary: Record your definitions for the following words below. 1. menagerie 2. conglomeration – 3. automaton – 4. ineluctably – 5. matriculating – 6. emissary – 7. elegiac – 8. beaux – 9. patronage – 10. fiasco – 11. archetype – 12. relic – 13. precipitated – 14. gesticulating – 15. insolence – 16. motley – 17. beseechingly – 18. endowments – 19. broods – 20. supercilious – 21. ulterior – 22. cotillion – 24. marquees 25. paragon 26. vestige 27. tribulations 28. gingerly 29. ecorously 30. perturbation – 23. sashayed – Study/Discussion Questions Scene 1 1. Reread the description of the setting at the beginning of the scene. Why is the physical setting of the play described in such careful detail? What feeling does the setting convey? 2. Tom is dressed in a merchant sailor uniform. What effect does his clothing have? Why does Tom‘s speech open with a comparison of his role to that of a stage magician? 3. Why does Tom contrast the social backgrounds of Spain and America in his opening speech? 4. Tom tells us that ? the play is memory.? Why is the drama styled as a memory play and what does this mean?
What sets and staging techniques reinforce the idea of this being a memory play? How so? 5. What freedom does the play being a memory afford Tom? 6. Review Tom‘s monologue at the beginning of the scene and his interjections throughout. What two functions does Tom have in the play? What difference in temperament do you notice in Tom in these two different roles? What do we discover about Tom‘s life at home in the brief first scene? 7. Why is the narrator called an ? undisguised convention?? 8. What does the gentleman caller at the end of the play symbolize according to the narrator?
Why does Tom say there is a fifth character in the play? Who is this? 9. What lines and/or situations lead you to believe that there is tension in the family at the outset of the play? 10. What is the reason for using scrims (transparent gauze curtains) to separate and differentiate the various scenes? 11. What do we learn about Laura in this scene? 12. Review Amanda‘s speeches in this scene. What do you learn about Amanda‘s past? How does Amanda view her own past? What indications are there that her past was not exactly as she remembers it? How does she impose her own past on her children‘s lives in the present? 13.
Throughout the play, the reader/audience is challenged to distinguish between illusion and reality. As narrator in scene 1, Tom tells us that he has ? tricks in [his] pocket—things up [his] sleeve…? He admits the ? play is memory.? How is memory an illusion? 14. In Scene 1, what type(s) of illusions does Amanda entertain in regards to her past life? Her present life? About Tom? About Laura? Scene 2 1. As Amanda comes up the fire escape, Laura‘s actions are described. What are these actions and what do they reveal about her? What has Amanda done that day? 2. In this scene, Amanda learns that Laura has dropped out of Rubicam Business College.
Why was Laura attending Rubicam‘s? Why was Laura not able to succeed in the business college? What did Laura do during the time she was to be attending school? 3. Also, in scene 2, we learn of Laura‘s past. Who did Laura like in high school? Describe him. 4. What is revealed about Mr. Wingfield in this scene? What about Jim reminds Amanda of her estranged husband? 5. What was Jim‘s nickname for Laura? Why did he give her this name? What feeling does the name convey? 6. Amanda has attempted to provide for Laura‘s future by enrolling her in the business college. Why is Amanda upset about Laura‘s failure in school?
Why do you think that Amanda‘s efforts to assist her daughter have failed? 7. What alternative course does Amanda decide on for Laura‘s future? According to Laura, does this plan have any likelihood of success? Why? Do you agree or disagree with Laura? Why? 8. How can Amanda‘s behavior during the first part of this scene be characterized? 9. In this scene, Laura discusses the problem of her handicap with Amanda. How does Amanda deal emotionally with Laura‘s handicap? In what ways does Amanda suggest that Laura downplay her handicap? 10. In scenes 1 and 2, we learn about Laura‘s character. Describe Laura‘s physical and emotional handicaps.
How does Laura try to avoid the unpleasant reality of Amanda‘s conversations? Into what illusion does Laura escape? Scene 3 1. What has Amanda‘s obsession become? What does Amanda do about the obsession? 2. Scene 3 focuses on the argumentative nature of Tom and Amanda‘s relationship. What is the quarrel about? Are they the principal actors during this scene? 3. Why does Amanda believe that Tom is doing things he‘s ashamed of? Amanda calls Tom selfish. To what extent is Amanda‘s accusation fair? To what extent is it unfair? How does Tom respond to Amanda‘s assertion that he is jeopardizing the future? 4.
Tom thinks his mother is making unfair demands of him. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not? What do you think is the source of Tom‘s discontentment (identify reasons beyond the stated issues)? 5. Where does Tom escape after the argument with Amanda? What happens as Tom leaves for the movies? 6. The final moments of the scene show Tom picking up the pieces of glass, glancing at Laura as though he wants to say something. What do these actions reveal about Tom? 7. An observer of the Wingfield family may suggest that Tom and Amanda will not allow each other to create their own realities or at least illusions of reality.
How is this statement true? 8. Tom‘s commentary at the outset of scene 3 is important to both the scene and to the play as a whole. Read both the stage directions and his monologue carefully. From where does Tom give his commentary about the events to occur in scene 3? What about this setting suggests or foreshadows Tom‘s decision to leave at the end of scene 3? 9. Tom‘s costumes are different as he narrates and as he plays himself in scene 3. What might his narrator‘s costume suggest/foreshadow about the outcome of the play? Scene 4 1. When does Tom return from the movies? What does he tell Laura he has seen?
Why does this intrigue Tom? Why would Tom need to perform this trick? From what ? coffin? does Tom feel he needs to escape? Why? Who, besides the illusionist, has performed this amazing escape? 2. What happens on the fire escape when Amanda sends Laura for some butter? What significance is there in the description of Laura‘s coat? 3. Tom apologizes to Amanda for calling her a witch. How does Amanda respond? What does Amanda want to talk about with Tom? 4. Amanda‘s statements about instinct are ironic. Why? 5. What is Amanda most concerned about? What is Amanda‘s solution to this problem? 6.
Reread the first four sentences of Tom‘s speech in which he identifies himself as an illusionist. Remember, Tom is telling us the story of his family in retrospect, so sometime between the events of scene 3 and the telling of the story, he has mastered the art of escaping and creating illusion. What forms of escape (retreats into illusion) do we learn that Tom has tried in scene 3? How does Amanda respond to his need to escape in each incident? 7. How might the tension in scene 3 foreshadow Tom‘s character development from a trapped Wingfield family member to narrator of the Wingfield family story. Scene 5: 1.
In what ways does Amanda see that Tom takes after his father? Why does Amanda want Tom to emulate his father? What does she urge Tom to do about his future? 2. How does Tom perceive the fire escape? What does he do when he stands on the fire escape? 3. How does Amanda view the fire escape? What does she see when she sits on the fire escape? 4. Tom guesses her wish and is able to grant it. What is the wish? 5. What is Amanda‘s response when Tom says he is bringing a young man home to dinner? How does Tom react to this? What do we find out about the gentleman caller in the next conversation between Tom and Amanda? . Amanda‘s ? discreet inquiries? produce information. In dramatic terms, this is called exposition. But why is this scene dramatically satisfying and suspenseful even though it lacks action? 7. As Amanda begins to fuss and plan, what does Tom remind her about? Why does Tom leave abruptly for the movies? What does Amanda tell Laura to do? 8. Which of Amanda‘s character traits are revealed in her phone call to Ella Cartwright? 9. In scene 5, we learn that Laura serves as a mediator between Amanda and Tom. The chances are good that Laura typically assumes this role when tempers flare in the Wingfield household.
Why might Amanda use Laura as her go-between with Tom? In what other circumstances does Amanda use Laura in her stead? Is Tom sincere in his apology to Amanda? What leads you to believe this? 10. For what reason does Amanda talk with Tom about Laura? How does Tom respond to this duty? Do you think this is an unreasonable demand on Tom? Why or why not? Scene 6: 1. Why does Tom feel he is valuable to Jim? Why is Jim valuable to Tom? 2. Have Amanda‘s preparations for the dinner been successful? 3. How does Amanda dress for the gentleman caller? 4. Why does Laura dread the evening? Describe the way Laura answers the door. . What does Jim recommend for Tom? What does Jim tell Tom about his job? Is Tom concerned about this warning? Why? 6. What first step has Tom already taken? 7. With whom does Tom identify as he talks of his plans? 8. How do Tom and Jim respond to Amanda‘s entrance and chatter? Does everyone enjoy dinner? 9. Describe the political setting of the world that Tom alludes to at the beginning of scene 6. How is the Wingfield world in a similar condition? 10. What in St. Louis provides the pleasant escapes—? the brief, deceptive rainbows? —for the young people there? 11. Tom‘s statement that the ? nsuspecting kids danced to ? Dear One, the World is Waiting for the Sunrise‘? reiterates the unrealistically naive hope that Amanda holds for a better day to come, the knight in shining armor, ? the long delayed but always expected something that we live for?. His subsequent statement, ? All the world was waiting for bombardments,? is the pessimistic view of a man disillusioned by the reality of life, that sunrise only gives way to sunset, that birth leads to death, that hope is never fulfilled, only wasted and spent. Analyze this scene in terms of modernism and the American dream/nightmare. 12.
Typically, as scene 6 opens Amanda is criticizing Tom, this time for his smoking. For what purpose would Amanda rather Tom use his cigarette money? 13. What indications are there in this scene that the Wingfields have had a better life than they are currently subject to? 14. How is Amanda planning to alter their home for the gentleman caller? What feeling is she attempting to project about the Wingfield family? 15. In what ways does Amanda alter the description of the gentleman caller before he arrives on the scene? In what ways does Tom suggest reality to Amanda in regards to their gentleman caller? 16.
This scene contains several comic lines and situations. Find examples of these and analyze how they relieve some of the rising tension. 17. Amanda gives us her very simple philosophy of life in response to Tom‘s patronizing remark, ? Oh…Plans and provisions.? What is her philosophy? 18. What do we learn about Jim in this scene? Scene 7: 1. What happens as they finish dinner? What lighting do they use instead? 2. What is Jim‘s first assessment of Laura? Does Jim recognize Laura? 3. How does Jim react to Laura‘s confession of her shyness and the reason she gives for it—the brace on her leg? 4. How is Jim discovering his own excellence? . What is Jim‘s view of democracy? 6. Why does Laura show Jim the unicorn? What happens to the unicorn and how does this function symbolically? 7. What is Jim‘s next step in curing Laura‘s inferiority complex? What happens as they dance? 8. Jim calls himself a stumble-john as he realizes that Laura is overcome by the kiss. How does he recognize her reaction? As Jim forthrightly tells Laura about Betty and their marriage plans, how does Laura react? 9. What happens as Amanda and Tom enter with the lemonade? 10. What is the significance of Laura‘s gift to Jim? 11. What is Amanda‘s reaction to Jim‘s engagement? 2. Tom‘s final speech coincides with the silent scene played by Laura and Amanda. As he talks what happens on the stage? What is Tom‘s final realization? 13. Describe Jim in his high school days. Why was Tom important to Jim? What is Jim‘s nickname for Tom? Why does he give Tom this nickname? 14. What changes had Amanda made in the living room in preparation for the gentleman caller? 15. What union had Tom joined? Where has he gotten the money to pay for his dues? 16. In what ways are both Jim and Tom trying to change the direction of their lives? 17. By what means does Amanda try to charm Jim?
Do you think she succeeds? Explain. 18. How does Amanda ? promote? Laura to Jim as something other than what she really is? How is this her attempt to alter reality? 19. What class did Laura and Jim take together in high school? What two mementos from high school does Laura show Jim? What does he sign and why? 20. What do you consider the climax of the play? Why? 21. Why does Tom tell Laura to ? blow out her candles?? What meaning about the past Does Williams suggest here? NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION QUEENS HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE SCIENCES AT YORK COLLEGE 94-50 159TH STREET JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11451 Telephone: 18-657-3181 Fax: 718-657-2579 Jie Zhang, Principal Lenneen Gibson, Assistant Principal Greg Reo, Assistant Principal Rising Senior Survival Guide For your English summer assignment, you are being asked to design a “survival guide” for yourself, something that will help you cope with and provide focus for all the decisions that you will be making in the senior year. This is a research project that will help you with the college decision-making process. 1. Research three potential careers: include educational requirements, salary scale (what is the starting salary, national average salary for people in this profession, top salary? and growth potential (Is their mobility in this profession, meaning, will you be able to obtain a higher level position over time? Explain. What are the current and future trends towards recruitment and opportunities in this particular field? ) Job descriptionwhat does your job entail? Why does each career interest you? What character or personality traits, or special skills do you possess that will enable you to do well in this career? Please note: Each career must be in chart format. List all sources in a proper MLA Works Cited format on a separate page. Note: You must cite each sub-page off of each website.
If an author does not exist, alphabetize by the boldface title on the webpage (which will probably be the name of the particular school that you are researching). 2. Research four colleges: your “dream school,” one sleep away college, one SUNY college, and one local college. If you do not intend to attend a school in one of these categories, then research the three schools that you are most interested in. Make a chart for each school. For each college you must provide: A. Admissions requirements B. Tuition and if sleep away – information on room and board C. Academics (what programs, majors or minors are you interested in? ) D.
Scholarship information E. Commutation time and cost – How long does it take to get home? (For both local and sleep away schools) F. G. H. I. J. – Recommended mode of transportation? – How much will it cost? College Characteristics (What other info is interesting or necessary to know about? ) Geographic location and climate (What part of the country is it in? What is the weather like? ) Student Population and Social Life (what are the demographics? What is there to do outside of academic life? ) Real Reputation- There are sources out there that provide information on the “real” reputation of a college: Is it a party school?
Include this info as well. You may find this information on Princeton Review’s webpage. Just type in the school that you are interested in, and then read the student testimonials. Suitability. Explain in a paragraph or two why this school is or is not suitable for your needs. On a separate piece of paper, cite all of your sources, using a proper MLA Works Cited format. 3. Write a high school resume: In your resume you will document all the information necessary for faculty to really know you before they write your recommendations.
Resumes should be concise (no more than one page), easy to read and briefly describe your involvement in school (clubs, teams, honors, etc). It should also include any service you have done and work experience you have acquired (provide a brief description of your responsibilities). As you may want to use this form for recommendations, be sure to include specific examples of outstanding contributions made to particular classes. Use online sources for sample resumes. 4. Application Essay: After you have completed your research, obtain the essay prompt from one of your desired schools and complete the essay according to all specified criteria.
Submit a copy of the writing prompt (from the application) as well as your essay on the first day of class. 5. Works Cited: Hand in a completed works cited page in which you compile all sources, including images used in this research project. Junior Survival Guide Grade Evaluation Sheet Career 1 Educational requirements Educational requirements Educational requirements Admission requirements College Characteristics Salary scale Salary scale Salary scale Tuition Growth potential Growth potential Growth potential Academics Job Description Total Possible points 5 Job Total Description Possible points 5 Job Total Description Possible points 5
Scholarship 1 pt. each, Information/ total possible Financial Aid 5 Real Suitability 1 pt. each, reputation of school total possible for your needs 5 Scholarship Information/ Financial Aid Real reputation Commutation time/Cost 1 pt. each, total possible 5 Suitability 1 pt. each, of school total possible for your needs 5 Commutation time/Cost 1 pt. each, total possible 5 Suitability 1 pt. each, of school total possible for your needs 5 10 pts Career interest/ special skills Career interest/ special skills Career interest/ special skills Commutation time/Cost Career 2 Career 3 School 1 School 2 Admission requirements College Characteristics
Geographic location Climate Tuition Student Population/ Social Life Academics School 3 Admission requirements College Characteristics Geographic location Climate Tuition Student Population/ Social Life Academics GeoStudent graphic Population/ location Social Life Climate Scholarship Information/ Financial Aid Real reputation Student Resume Works cited Essay 5 pts 40 pts Total 100 Name___________________________ Tips for Writing the College Essay 1. You can write your essay on any topic. If a particular school asks you to write about a specific topic, you can always modify your essay to fit their requirements at a later time.
If you already have a particular school’s essay in mind, you may respond to that essay prompt for this assignment. 2. Write about something that you are truly passionate about. Do not be afraid to show your reader who you are, how you feel and what you believe. Of course, this is as long as you are not overly negative, emotional, melodramatic, a bigot, racist, etc or insane. 3. Tone: Feel free to be serious, humorous, witty, creative, or scholarly in your writing, so long as it is natural for you to do so. Otherwise, you and your writing will sound insincere.
Remember, the people working in college admissions offices, read college essays for a living. 4. You will want to show your reader that you are willing to take risks in life (do not confuse this with reckless behavior). They want to see that you have the ability to grow, to inspire, to be inspired, to learn from your mistakes, to be flexible, to be passionate, to be socially aware, etc. Focus on one of these aspects or on one of the questions listed on the junior survival guide handout. 5. Do not be absurd, bizarre, or zany—just for the sake of setting yourself apart from other applicants.
You want to be noticed for being interesting, for being different, for having your own voice. Possible Creative Topics College Essay Topics from Previous Years 1. Select a creative work: a novel, a film, a poem, a musical piece, a painting or other work of art that has influenced how you view the world and the way you view yourself. Discuss the work and its effect on you. (University of Virginia/William and Mary/NYU) 2. What book, poem, piece of music, or artwork has influenced you? Write down your thoughts and feelings about this work and write a dialogue in which the work responds to you. 3.
Tell us about a situation where you have not been successful and what you have learned from that experience. (William and Mary) 4. Tell us about the biggest mistake you’ve ever made, or heard of. (University of Virginia) 5. Describe a risk that you have taken and discuss its impact on your life. (Kalamazoo College) 6. Tell us about the neighborhood that you grew up in and how it helped shape you into the kind of person you are today. (Yale and the University of Chicago) 7. Tell us what you think about a current scientific or social controversy. (William and Mary) 8. Identity and culture are clearly intertwined.
How has your experience of culture influenced the development of your own personal identity? (NYU) 9. Defend your least conventional belief. (University of Virginia) 10. If you were to protest something, for or against, what would it be? 11. Are you honorable? How do you know? (University of Virginia) 12. Relate a personal experience that caused you to discern or refine a value that you hold. (University of Virginia) 13. Describe a situation in which your values or beliefs were challenged. How did you react? (NYU) 14. If you could invent something, what would it be, and why? (Kalamazoo College) 15.
If you were to write a book, on what theme or subject matter would it be based, and why? (Stanford) 16. What is your favorite word, and why? (University of Virginia) 17. George Washington said, “Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; it is better to be alone than in bad company. ” About which of your friends do you and your parents disagree? Why do you feel that the continued company of this friend is a good thing? (Northwestern) 18. Imagine that you are a “hero” or “heroine” for one day during any time period and under any circumstances. Write a creative essay describing your experience. Notre Dame) 19. If you could have been a fly on the wall to observe any situation – historical, personal, or otherwise – describe what you would choose to observe and why. What would you hope to learn and how would it benefit you? (University of Pittsburgh) 20. What is the best advice you ever received? Why? And did you follow it? (University of Pennsylvania) READ AND ENJOY THIS PARODY OF A COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY. 🙂 Abstract (Summary) Hugh Gallagher’s Student Writing Award-winning parody of the college application essay, which first appeared in Literary Cavalcade, remains a perennial favorite on the Web.
The essay made Gallagher famous overnight, launched his writing career, and has been read by millions of people. Full Text (528 words) FROM THE MAY 1990 ISSUE ESSAY I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in heat retention. I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row, conditioning my body for absurd physical exertions. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing.
I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook “Thirty-minute Brownies” in twenty minutes. I can lecture for hours on any topic. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru. I am fully licensed to operate a crane, I am a gourmet chef. Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries and telemovies. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard.
I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, and yet, I receive fan mail. Last summer, I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I am capable of raising astronomical sums through school bake sales. I bat . 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles.
Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in the same day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining-room set that evening. I know the exact location of every single food item in the supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week, and when I do sleep, I sleep in chairs. While vacationing in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and all my bills are paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life, but forgot to write it down. I have been known to make extraordinary four-course meals using only a “Mouli” and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees in the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But, I have not yet gone to college. (Courtesy of Proquest)