Illusion versus Reality in The Glass Menagerie

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In Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie, we are given opportunity to see and understand that even truth can be cloaked by illusion. There are four main characters, we have Tom Wingfield whom is the narrator of the play. By day is a warehouse worker in a shoe factory, often absent minded for he would must rather be focusing on his passion for poetry and writing. By nightfall he often finds refuge from his mother's constant berating in the local movies. Laura Wingfield is Tom's beloved sister. Crippled since childhood from a disease known as plurosis, Laura is also emotionally crippled as an adult, in the sense that she is so incredibly shy attending business school was simply too much for her. To others it is no issue but to her it's all than she can see. Instead of fulfilling her mothers wishes she spends her days carefully attending to her delicate glass animals and listening to her father's record collection. Amanda Wingfield is the mother of Tom and Laura. She is a gracefully aging Southern Belle seemingly stuck on the values and traditions of the past that she once flourished so well in. Even though she has been abandoned by her husband and left to care for two children alone, Amanda is ever resiliently optimistic – though her life is not at all what she had planned for it to be. To Tom she is a constant nag and even more of an incentive to chase the dream within his grasp. She is just as dominating with Laura, insisting Laura always be ready and pretty for her “gentleman callers.” Laura knows deep down inside that these callers will never come, but Amanda cannot let go of the idea. She forces Laura to retreat into her world of imagination even further. Jim O'Connor is by the far the most ordinary out of them all. Jim i... ... middle of paper ... as a keepsake. The figurine becomes a memory of Laura that Jim can bring with him when he leaves Laura and returns to his life, but it also indicates the normal woman that Laura will never become. Laura was in high school when she developed an inflammatory lung disease called pleurosis that eventually left her crippled. Being absent from school for some time, when she did come back her fellow classmate Jim O’Connor asked what happened to her. She said she had pleurosis and he misunderstood it as “blue roses”. From that day on he gives her the nickname “Blue Roses.” The name turns Laura’s defect into an asset: her peculiar, otherworldly qualities are seen as special rather than debilitating. Laura is closely based on Tennessee Williams’s sister, Rose, who underwent a lobotomy while Williams was writing the play, and the nickname is also likely in tribute to her.
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