Let’s Talk About it Oklahoma – LTAIO


Let’s Talk About it Oklahoma (LTAIO)

The second books in the Series are :A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry and “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams

February 26th at 6-8pm

at Guthrie Public Library

Trapped by family ties and circumstances beyond their control, the central characters in these two plays dream of a better life and of breaking away from financial and spiritual poverty. In both works, the need for illusion is great, its clash with reality inevitable.

Hansberry’s Younger family lives in a Chicago ghetto but is at a moment when “freedom” seems near. A widow, Mama Younger receives a $10,000 check from the life insurance policy of her dead husband. The money, which would be worth three times as much today, is the catalyst that brings on the family’s social revolution and internal evolution. Mama can buy a house in a white neighborhood, but can the family handle an uncertain future of white hostility? She can give her son money for his business venture, but can she trust him to invest wisely? Strong-minded but compassionate, Mama realizes she can only influence her children by her dignity and embracing love. The play presents us with an old-fashioned test of character for each family member and has rightly been lauded for its humor and its fairness in its treatment of explosive racial issues.

In Williams’ play, Tom Wingfield remembers a decisive moment in the life of his family. The time is the Depression, the place St. Louis, and the family is shabbily genteel and fatherless. His shy sister, Laura, is not only physically but also psychologically disabled; she collects glass figurines, which symbolize her own emotional fragility. Their mother, Amanda, is a frayed southern belle, who hopes to teach her daughter how to use “charm” to get a man. Tom is a frustrated poet who works in a warehouse, escaping to the movies when reality comes too near.

The hopes of the family are pinned to the Gentleman Caller, Jim O’Connor, “the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.” His appearance, like that of the $10,000 in A Raisin in the Sun, brings the family to a crisis. For a while, his attention transforms Laura, but ultimately the Wingfield women are again deserted by men, their dreams shattered like the fragile glass unicorn Jim accidentally drops. The absent father, in the form of an ever-smiling photograph, presides over the apartment, foreshadowing the imminent flight of his disenchanted son. In the final lines of the play, we see that the family “ties that bind,” especially Tom’s memories of Laura, are not as easily broken as the pieces in her glass menagerie.

Dr. Richard Rouillard will be presenting and he always provides a fun discussion. Pick you a copy at the fronts desk!