In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams presents us with four characters whose lives seem to consist in avoiding reality more than facing it. Amanda lives her life through her children and clings to her lost youthfulness. Tom retreats into movie theaters and into his dream of joining the merchant seamen and some day becoming a published poet. Laura resorts to her Victrola and collection of glass ornaments to help sustain her world of fantasy. Finally, Jim is only able to find some relief in his glorified old memories. This essay will examine how Amanda, Tom, Laura and Jim attempt to escape from the real world through their dreams.
Amanda was abandoned by her husband and now must take care of her two children, Tom and Laura. Amanda considers Tom unrealistic, daydreaming about becoming a recognized poet rather than staying committed to his present job. Amanda is overwhelmingly confused and perplexed about the future. Worse still, the fact that Laura is crippled worries her even more. Amanda tries to arrange everything for Laura lest she will live paralyzed in the threatening world. Aware of the reality, she enrolls her in a secretarial course in the hope that she would become, if not successful in her career, at least independent. Disappointed by Laura's inability to cope with the classes in the business school, Amanda tries desperately find her a reliable husband who can provide material and emotional security. But her hopes are unrealistic. Not even having met Jim, the gentleman caller Tom brings home at her mother's request, Amanda, looking at the little, slipper-shaped moon, asks Laura to make a wish on it for happiness and good fortune to be brought by this gentleman caller, when it is just wishful thinking on her...
... middle of paper ...
...nd some relief in his glorified old memories saved by Laura and is overwhelmed by the magic of the American Dream. Like many great plays, The Glass Menagerie transcends time inasmuch as contemporary versions of the four characters abound in the ever-changing modern world. After all, these are the people to whom the play addresses today.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. 1945. The Bedford Introduction to Drama. 5th ed. Lee A. Jacobus, ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.
McHaney, Pearl A. Lecture on The Glass Menagerie. Engl 3860-American Drama. Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. 20 June 2006.
Jackson, Esther Merle. The Broken World of Tennessee Williams. Madison: & of Wisconsin P, 1965.
Parker, R.B., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Glass Menagerie. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1983.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Broken Dreams In the 1930s, the people of America only wanted to believe that there was something bigger for them to still achieve. It was the time of the Great Depression and holding onto their dreams helped people survive. The idea of the American Dream itself included wealth, freedom, power and overall success. The American Dream believes that equal opportunity is available to all American to become successful. In the time of the Great Depression, so many people who believed in this Dream, also believed that money and materials could buy them happiness.... [tags: broken dreams, play analysis]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- Throughout The Glass Menagerie Laura is presented as an extremely shy and sensitive person. This play also describes her personal fears, hopes, and dreams. Her shyness is emphasized even more by being contrasted with her mother Amanda's forceful and almost brutal nature and actions towards Laura.We clearly are made aware almost immediately of Laura's overly sensitive nature. Laura can be characterized by her loneliness, sensitivity, trapped feelings, and outcast. Laura has no gentlemen callers and feels very isolated from the rest of the world in many ways.... [tags: laura, fears, hopes, dreams]
876 words (2.5 pages)
- The Reality of Illusions: Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Reflective of the depressed age it was written in, Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, reveals a host of antisocial personalities, each with their own psychosis and methodology of self-medicating. This glimpse into the lives of the Wingfield family’s dysfunction is both sobering and memorable. When brought to the stage as was originally intended, William’s play articulates each character’s quirkiness and in doing so, bears witness to the different illusions, delusions, and fantasy they use as coping mechanisms.... [tags: the plot, unrealized dreams, amanda]
1654 words (4.7 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie We all have illusions. We can hardly live without them. Most of the time they are harmless thoughts about things that are usually unattainable. An example would be when a person sees something that they want and then dreams of having it. Whenever someone holds an opinion based on what they think is true, or in some cases what should be true, rather than what actually is true, then that is an illusion. Illusions sometimes help people cope with painful situations, but in the end, illusions are only a false escape from reality.... [tags: Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie Essays]
1151 words (3.3 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' Life Story Portrayed in The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, originated in the memory of Williams. Williams' family embodied his father, Cornelius Williams, his mother, Edwina Dakin Williams, his sister, Rose Williams, and his younger brother, Dakin Williams. Cornelius was an alcoholic, always away from home; Tennessee and Cornelius did not have a strong relationship, "By the late 1920s, mother and father were in open warfare, and both were good combatants.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams Essays]
1246 words (3.6 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie If The Glass Menagerie were performed without the effects Williams wrote into the script, then the play would barely have a plot. Williams' use of music, lighting and a television screen add depth and meaning to the play. He uses effects to portray the feelings of the characters, rather than their words or actions. In Tom's opening speech he states that'The play is memory.' Because it is about his memories of his mother and her memories. They both spend the play living in the past.... [tags: Williams Glass Menagerie Essays]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie as a Tragedy The Glass Menagerie has, of course, been labelled as many different types of play, for one, a tragedy. At first glance it is clear that audiences today may, indeed, class it as such. However, if, looking at the traditional definition of the classification 'tragedy', one can more easily assess whether or not the Glass Menagerie fits under this title. To do this I will be using the views of Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, who first defined the word 'tragedy' and in his views, a tragedy contained certain, distinctive characteristics.... [tags: Papers Tennessee Williams Menagerie Essays]
1493 words (4.3 pages)
- Crushed Dreams in The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams is known for his use of symbols, tension, and irony. Williams uses all of these components to express the central theme of The Glass Menagerie - hope followed by despair. Each of the characters has dreams that are destroyed by the harsh realities of the world. As the narrator blatantly admits, 'since I have a poet's weakness for symbols', symbols are central to The Glass Menagerie (Williams 30). Symbols are merely concrete substitutions used to express a particular theme, idea, or character.... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
1205 words (3.4 pages)
- Portrayal of Women in The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, Suddenly Last Summer, and Period of Adjustment Tennessee Williams has become one of the most well known literary figures in modern America. His plays are often controversial because of his preoccupation with sex and violence and his fearlessness to probe the dark areas of human life. Williams's earlier work often inspired his later plays and basic character types often reappear throughout each of his plays.... [tags: Women in the Plays of Tennessee Williams]
2373 words (6.8 pages)
- Symbolism is an integral part of every play. The author uses symbolism in order to add more depth to the play. In Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, he describes three separate characters, their dreams, and the harsh realities they face in a modern world. The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. Everyone in the play seeks refuge from their lives, attempting to escape into an imaginary world. Williams uses the fire escape as a way for the Wingfields, the protagonists of the play, to escape their real life and live an illusionary life.... [tags: Tennessee Williams]
1021 words (2.9 pages)