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The Crust of humility

Posted by Bob on September 20, 2000

In Reply to: The Crust of humility posted by ESC on September 20, 2000

: : : : Im a theater student needing to know the origin of the crust of humility for a project on given circumstances for the play The Glass Menagerie...any info would be greatly appreciated....thanks, Hannah

: : : Is that a phrase that appears in the play? I don't remember it. Can you quote the context?

: : The phrase is from Scene Two and Amanda is cautioning Laura about becoming a spinster:
: :
: :
: : "one of those pitiful ... barely tolerated spinsters...stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room... like birdlike women without any nest- eating the crust of humility all their life." ...."

: "Crust of humility" sounds familiar. But I took a quick flick through my references this morning and couldn't find the exact phrase. There were oodles of humility phrases, especially in the Bible. There is one verse about eating bread in peace. I'll look further.

Well, offhand, I'd say that the crust reference resonates because it is the "discarded" part of the bread, and the theme of abandonment and casting-off recurs throughout the play. Humility is (in Amanda's view) forced upon those who have to deal with the reality of rejection. The ironies multiply, of course, since Amanda's and Laura's separate fantasy lives isolate them from the abandonment that's all around them past, present and future.