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The Church of the Heavenly (un)Rest

Satisfactory Essays
Religion is commonly seen as something that saves people from their troubles and sins. Tennessee Williams mocks religion in the play “The Glass Menagerie,” and challenges the whole idea of religion. Tennessee Williams criticizes religions ability to provide aid and comfort in times of desperate need or poverty. This is made blatantly clear by the evident references to religion. Amanda commonly makes jokes concerning religion, and she herself is often intertwined with religious references. Tom is repeatedly crippled and unaided by what seems to be religion, and in general all of the goals and dreams of the Wingfields are not realized through religion.
Amanda seems to be a devout Christian, however the reality to this false appearance is that she is used to mock religion. Amanda seems to be very concerned with being religious, she often reprimands Tom, saying that “Christian Adults don’t want it” (34) when he complains about the lack of adventure in his life. She seems to be a good, religious person who wishes to improve the grim situation her family is in. However, it is quickly obvious that she is not the religious person she seems to be, and is even used to mock religion. When she speaks of her gentlemen callers, she mentions that they visited her “one Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain” (8). If she was truly the good Christian adult she imposes on Tom, she would be at church, or at least make a mention of going to church. Instead she entertains her gentlemen callers. After the fiasco at Rubicam’s Business college, Amanda starts to make calls. She describes her potential buyers as “Christian martyr(s)” though they have minor ailments such as a “sinus condition” (20). Normally Christian martyrs go through great suffering, and she...

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...so has autobiographical elements, which could hint at Tennessee Williams rejecting religion. His mother was very domineering, but she was also devout. Her prayers were not answered, as she had an abusive husband and her daughter was mentally ill. Witnessing this could be the reason for such a tirade on religion in the play. The one thing that is for certain is that Tennessee Williams believed in the power of the person, that people’s actions influence the world the most. This is evident because Tom walks out on his family, which is a decision he made on his own, without religion or external help. Similarly, though Amanda does not go to church in her young age, she has many gentlemen callers and her life is relatively better than currently. This could be Tennessee Williams saying that people’s actions are what influence their situation, not religion or anything else.
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