Glass Menagerie: Self-Loathing in Gender Roles

Satisfactory Essays
Glass Menagerie: Self-Loathing in Gender Roles
In the 1930s males were raised to be the provider for their families, and the head of the households. Females where raised to be housewife and caretaker for the house. In Tennessee Williams “The Glass Menagerie” gender plays a major role on how societies view females and males. Women in this time period obtained little power while men were the dominant ones. That made Amanda depend on her son Tom the sole provider for his family for their finically stability. Amanda’s high expectations of her son for the family security made it harder for Tom to live up to his dreams. In “The Glass Menagerie,” Tennessee Williams blatantly makes assumptions about the gender roles in the 1930s by making the narrator of the play tell readers how his family and society caused him to put his own dreams and aspirations aside to become the man of the household, like many other young men during this time period.
Society has always had the distinctions between men and women. Society view men as being the dominant one over the household, work force, and women being the caretaker. “Traditional conceptions of gender roles prevailed during the 1930s; accordingly, men were expected to be the breadwinners of their families” (Bryson). Men are known for being the provider and protector of the family. Meclvaine, a historian, believed that the real definition of a “real man” is the one who has authority, one who is in charge and who made all the decisions in the households. Whereas, women are known as being subordinate and have no input in the household’s decisions making except taking care of children, and domestic house work. “At the beginning of the century, the typical female laborer still toiled in th...

... middle of paper ...

...made it harder for him to follow his purposes. Also, Tom had his dreams and goals and he did not want to work at the warehouse for the rest of his life. Tom’s priorities were what society wants, and thought what was right for men to do in the 1930s. In this situation, the only way for Tom to achieve his dreams was to leave his family behind, so he can for once do what he wants to do without being ridiculed by society and his mother. Tom felt guilty for leaving his family, because he was the only one that they depended on. He had the opportunity to help his family, and now the guilt lives on with him, because he abandon his mother and sister the same why his father did. Tom, like any young men during his time had to drop everything to become the man of the household when their father is absent. Putting many of his dreams aside just to fulfill his mother dreams.
Get Access