Preview
Preview

Illusion vs. Reality in The Glass Menagerie Essay

:: 6 Works Cited
Length: 2804 words (8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Illusion vs. Reality in The Glass Menagerie

 
       In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses the roles of the members of the Wingfield family to highlight the controlling theme of illusion versus reality. The family as a whole is enveloped in mirage; the lives of the characters do not exist outside of their apartment and they have basically isolated themselves from the rest of the world. Even their apartment is a direct reflection of the past as stories are often recalled from the mother's teenage years at Blue Mountain, and a portrait of the man that previously left the family still hangs on the wall as if his existence is proven by the presence of the image. The most unusual factor of their world is that it appears as timeless. Amanda lives only in the past while Tom lives only in the future and Laura lives in her collection of glass animals, her favorite being the unicorn, which does not exist. Ordinary development and transformation cannot take place in a timeless atmosphere such as the apartment. The whole family resists change and is unwilling to accept alteration. Not only is the entire family a representation of illusion versus reality, each of the characters uses fantasy as a means of escaping the severity of their own separate world of reality. Each has an individual fantasy world to which they retreat when the existing world is too much for them to handle. Each character has a different way of dealing with life when it seems to take control of them, and they all become so completely absorbed in these fantasies that they become stuck in the past.

Amanda Wingfield (mother) is the most unrealistic of all the characters. She clings desperately to the past as she repeatedly relives the memories of receivin...


... middle of paper ...


...Unicorn

b. Jim

4. Laura's reaction to Jim's engagement

5. Laura's final plunge into illusion

C. Tom

1. Tom's desperate desire to escape reality inside home

2. Complaints of job and mother

3. Discussion of outside world

4. Admiration for father

5. Tom's final attempt to escape reality

6. Truth of Tom's attachment to truth of reality

D. Jim

1. Jim's understanding of reality versus illusion

2. Reflection of high school memories

3. Impact on Laura

a. Convinces Laura to dance

b. Kisses Laura

4. Breaks news of engagement to Laura

5. Impact on other Wingfield characters

a. Amanda

1. Seen as tender and caring for the first time

2. Comforts Laura with dignity

b. Tom

1. Decides to finally break away from reality of Wingfield home

2. Follows in father's footsteps

III. Conclusion


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Illusion vs. Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay - Illusion vs. Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie       The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, contains multiple themes.  While there are many themes, the theme that holds the piece together is illusion versus reality.                This theme is established very quickly, In fact, the first paragraph of the play describes the illusions to take place, "But I am the opposite of a stage musician.  He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth.  I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion" (1866).  During Tom's monologue, he discusses the premise of the play; when it takes place, who the characters are, and how the play is to be perceived (as a memor...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays Tennessee Williams]
:: 6 Works Cited
1627 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Comparing Reality and Illusion in Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, and A Raisin in the Sun - Reality vs. Illusion in The Glass Menagerie, The Death of a Salesman, and A Raisin in the Sun       All three stories are centered on lower income families in urban settings. Each story has one main dreamer with other characters being in various states of reality. Amanda Wingfield, Willy Loman, and Walter Lee Younger are all living on pipe dreams. Amanda dreams of her days on the front porch surrounded by her gentleman callers. Willy is the all time king of pipe dreams bouncing from past to future with imagining how everything would have been different if he had gone to Alaska (or Africa) with his brother Ben or will be different when Howard makes him showroom salesman at the home...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 562 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay - Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie We all have illusions. We can hardly live without them. Most of the time they are harmless thoughts about things that are usually unattainable. An example would be when a person sees something that they want and then dreams of having it. Whenever someone holds an opinion based on what they think is true, or in some cases what should be true, rather than what actually is true, then that is an illusion. Illusions sometimes help people cope with painful situations, but in the end, illusions are only a false escape from reality....   [tags: Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1151 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on the Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie - The Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie     In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the characters exhibit a state of delusion that originates from their dissatisfaction with their lives. Tom seeks adventure in the movies. Amanda reminisces often about her days as a Southern Belle. Laura sits in a dream world with her glass collection, and Jim basks in the praises of his high school glory. In their respective ways, they demonstrate their restlessness. The quotation from Thoreau, "The mass of men lead lives of the quiet desperation," applies to the characters in that they are all unhappy, but take no action to improve their situation in any significant way....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1092 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Appearance Versus Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay example - Appearance Versus Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie In any Tennessee Williams' play, nothing is as it seems. Everything represents more than itself. Williams' creative use of symbols creates a drama that far exceeds the apparent or surface level. Williams himself admits that "art is made out of symbols the way your body is made out of the vital tissue," and that "symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama [. . . ,] the purest language of plays [. . . ; S]ometimes it would take page after tedious page of exposition to put across an idea that could be said with an object or a gesture on the lighted stage" (Demastes 174)....   [tags: Glass Menagerie Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3114 words
(8.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Glass Menagerie Essays: Symbols - Symbols in The Glass Menagerie In the play, The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things.  Many of the symbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion.  The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape.  This represents the "bridge" between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality.  This "bridge" seems to be a one way excursion.  But the direction varies for each character.  For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into a world of new dimensions.  For Laura, the fire escape is a way i...   [tags: The Glass Menagerie] 1276 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about A Shattered Myth in The Glass Menagerie -      In Tennessee Williams's play The Glass Menagerie, we are introduced to a young lady named Laura. Being shy, to an extreme, Laura lives in a world of her own making. It is a socially limited world where she is safe from all life's painful embarrassments. Laura has wrapped herself in a blanket of protection within the walls of her family's lower middle-class apartment. There in her protected fortress she cares for her collection of glass animals, a collection her mother calls the glass menagerie....   [tags: Glass Menagerie Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
2499 words
(7.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Escape in The Glass Menagerie - Escape in The Glass Menagerie In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, none of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers the days when he was a hero. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1031 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay - Amanda Wingfield in the play, The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, was portrayed as a distraught southern belle trying to control the lives of her children. In The Glass Menagerie Amanda is the matriarch of her small family who appears at first to be a woman who cared about her children’s futures- that is before she becomes so overbearing that she started to hinder her children’s future. Amanda was a single mother who could never grasp reality. The Glass Menagerie was a memory play that told of a family trapped in destructive patterns....   [tags: Williams Glass Menagerie]
:: 6 Works Cited
1966 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Glass Menagerie Essays: Characters and Symbols - Characters and Symbols in The Glass Menagerie In The Glass Menagerie, the main characters are Laura, Amanda, Tom, Jim, and Father.  Each character can be found with symbols that best represent them.  Laura 's two symbols are Blue Roses and her glass menagerie, Unicorn.  Amanda 's  yellow dress and bathrobe can express her love she has of the past event.  Tom 's symbols are the movies and merchant marine.  Jim's symbolize itself as a gentlemen caller for Laura.  The Father 's portrait portrays his abandonment of the Wingfield family....   [tags: The Glass Menagerie] 1109 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]