The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

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Tennessee Williams of Columbus, Mississippi, and author of the play The Glass Menagerie creates a well-rounded character by the name of Tom Wingfield. The author reveals many aspects of this character throughout the play, which focuses on the memories of the three main characters that live in a St. Louis apartment in the late 1930s. As the story progresses, the reader observes how each of the characters unravel and unfold to their needs and wants. Tom is displayed as a character who lives in a world that is different from reality, so, therefore, he behaves in a fashion that makes him seem falsely selfish, creative, and adventurous.
To start with, Tom, as depicted by Tennessee Williams, is the free spirit of the Wingfield family. Though he works at a warehouse, his aspiration is to be a poet. In the play, Tom is called “Shakespeare” by the character Jim. The author of “Liebestod, Romanticism, and Poetry in The Glass Menagerie” reveals that it is no coincidence that Tom is given the name of “Shakespeare,” since he was “one of the heroes of the Romantic movement” (Cardullo 78). It is very evident that Tom has a certain fondness of words, for, at times, he is very eloquent. Tom, being the narrator, has the opportunity to express himself as he truly is by speaking to the audience. On one occasion, Tom observes the economy of the United States by saying, “Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, and so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down on the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy” (Williams 1166). This statement is a great illustration of the way Tom expresses his thoughts as he makes the remarkable comparison of the economy of the US after the Great Depression by incorporating a metaphor...


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...blowing out her candles to represent her grip on Tom and how he desired to be freed.
In the end, Tennessee’s portrayal of Tom is very much a believable action. Tom’s traits remain the same during the entire story. Tom always was a poet at heart and continued to be that way and it was shown as such at the end of the story when Tom left. After all, the author of “Tennessee: Cry of the Heart” reveals that Tom is in fact an impersonation of Williams, whose real first name happened to be Thomas. Rader believes that the character of Tom does what Williams cannot do which is to “poetically express Tennessee’s own unexpiated guilt and unpurged grief over his sister’s fate” (64). Though the play was seen as a memory, and Tom was not the most realistic character of the play as expressed by Tom himself in his opening monologue, he remained in his ways until the poetic ending.

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