Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Essay

Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Essay

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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. These recurring behaviors exhibited at different intervals and scenes of the play form a patterned motif and accentuate one the plays most prominent themes; the struggle between illusion and reality for each present member of the Wingfield family.
The plot contains several varieties of illusion and methodical breaks from reality. Each one is important to understanding the dynamic struggles the characters have with their own circumstances and how they choose to deal with them. Funk and Wagnall describe illusion as :
false sensory perception of an actual stimulus. In abnormal psychology, the term denotes misperceiving stimuli, arising from such disorders as an abnormal irritability of the sensory centers of the brain cortex, caused, for example, by drug intoxication or withdrawal, or by sleep deprivation. Such illusions, which are usually based on habits, attitudes, suggestions, and unconscious motivations, are sometimes called active illusions. In one type of active illusion, an external happening may be greatly exaggerated in a person’s mind, as when a gentle knocking at a door is taken for thunder. (Illusion)
The mos...

... middle of paper ...

...aders. Williams’ exposition of the Wingfield’s collective inability to accept or even acknowledge their realities reveals just how deeply defunct familial bonds and lost dreams can create prisons and paradises.

Works Cited
Coon, Mitterer. Introduction to Psychology Gateways to Mind and Behavior. 13e. Wadsworth, 2013. Print.
DeVito, Joseph A. Human Communication The Basic Course. 12th. Boston, 2012. Print. 22 March 2014.
Friedrichs, Jörg. "Useful Lies: The Twisted Rationality Of Denial." Philisophical Psychology 2014: 212-234. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
Illusion. 2014. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Johnston, Barbara Rose, et al. "On Happiness." American Anthropologist (2012): 6-18. Web.
Williams, Tennessee. "The Glass Menagerie." X. J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. Backpack Literature An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. Joe Terry. Pearson, 2012. Print. 20 March 2014.

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