Ignorance of Laura Wingfield’s Disabilities In The Glass Menagerie Essay

Ignorance of Laura Wingfield’s Disabilities In The Glass Menagerie Essay

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The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a play set in 1937 that highlights the memory of Tom Wingfield’s time at home with his sister and mother, Laura and Amanda. Tom’s adult sister, Laura, is still living at home: unable to complete her education, get a job, or meet a husband. Due to the fact that Tom and Laura’s father left them when they were young, Amanda pushes Laura to be a successful homemaker since Amanda failed at having a complete family. Amanda wishes for Laura to meet a husband, and pushes her repeatedly to talk to men and socialize with gentleman callers. Finally, it seems that Amanda’s dream for Laura might come true when Tom brings his friend from work over from dinner, Jim O’Connor. Laura and Jim went to high school together, and Laura is unable to socialize with him out of fear and anxiety. In addition, Laura has a crippled leg and walks with a limp as a result of a childhood malady. The limp further contributes to her lack of self-confidence. The Glass Menagerie accentuates Laura’s difficulty growing up and her failure to fill her mother’s high expectations. Laura’s inability to transition successfully to adulthood by graduating high school, succeeding at job training, or building new social relationships outside her immediate family is due to her mental health issues, including a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorder and Asperger’s, which are exacerbated by her physical disability and the overbearing and inappropriate actions of her mother.
Laura is unable to successfully move on from childhood to take on adult responsibilities. Laura is twenty-three years old (Williams 78) and still has not been able to transition to adulthood. Becoming an adult entails finishing a primary education, getting a j...


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...resley. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990. 32-52. Twayne's Masterwork Studies 43. Twayne's Authors on GVRL. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.
Stein, Roger B. "The Glass Menagerie Revisited: Catastrophe Without Violence."
Western Humanities Review 18.2 (Spring 1964): 141-153. Rpt. in
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed.Thomas Votteler and Laurie DiMauro. Vol. 71. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 13 Jan. 2014.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Directions
Publishing Corporation, 1973. Print.
Zeineddine, Nada. "Problems of Identity, As Experienced by the Producer, in
Four Plays." Because It Is My Name. Tennessee Williams. Merlin Books Ltd., 1991. 90-154. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas Votteler and Laurie DiMauro. Vol. 71. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.




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