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)
... 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.
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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Themes of Escape in The Glass Menagerie “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright”(Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption). This quote reminds me of the characters in Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie. William’s is known for using his own reality in his works. This particular play, in my opinion is very relatable to many people. The play is basically about not being happy with the situation in which the characters currently exist.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, Escape]
1152 words (3.3 pages)
- The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie, a play by Tennessee Williams, is set in the apartment of the Wingfield family, housing Amanda Wingfield and her two children Tom and Laura. The father left many years ago, and is only represented by a picture on the living-room wall. The small, dingy apartment creates a desperate, monotonous feeling in the reader. None of the Wingfields has any desire to stay in the apartment, but their lack of finances makes it impossible to move.... [tags: Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams essays]
1033 words (3 pages)
- Tennessee Williams demonstrates through his play, The Glass Menagerie, that dreams do not always have happy endings and that dreaming can have a significant impact on those closest to an individual, be it in a positive or negative way. The character Tom is a dreamer who, in the absence of his father and under the watchful eye of his controlling but loving mother, Amanda, is constantly held between the responsibility to support his dependant mother and crippled sister and the freedom of following his dreams.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Dream, Tennessee Williams]
1303 words (3.7 pages)
- The Effects of Alcoholism in The Glass Menagerie Alcoholism has a harsh effect on not only the victim itself, but the family as well. The presence of an alcoholic in a family can alter the environment and cause social, cultural, and behavioral issues within the family members. Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, illustrates how the characters in the play adapt and cope with the departure of their alcoholic father. The topics of alcoholism and the effects of abandonment within the play is discussed in “Tennessee Williams’ Dramatic Charade: Secrets and Lies in The Glass Menagerie”.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, Psychosis]
1058 words (3 pages)
- Tennessee Williams’ excellent use of themes to portray characters in his world class, classic play “The Glass Menagerie” makes the play enthralling till the very end of it. Out of many themes like loneliness, illusions and distress; disintegration of the family seems to be a major plot of the play. Undoubtedly, all the themes displayed in “The Glass Menagerie” are as much important for the success of the play which keeps the audience indulged into it throughout. Nature and lifestyle of each character plays a vital role in creating events and setting the theme of the story.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, Drama]
2295 words (6.6 pages)
- Illusion vs. Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, contains multiple themes. While there are many themes, the theme that holds the piece together is illusion versus reality. This theme is established very quickly, In fact, the first paragraph of the play describes the illusions to take place, "But I am the opposite of a stage musician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion" (1866). During Tom's monologue, he discusses the premise of the play; when it takes place, who the characters are, and how the play is to be perceived (as a memor... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays Tennessee Williams]
1627 words (4.6 pages)
- As humans, we are all born by those who raised us such as families and guardians. Family is where we all belong in that helps us identify who we are as an individual. It helps us grow as a person in order to realize what we have located in front of us. We all belong to a family and it is our family that keeps us together through thick and thin. Without having a family, the person feels isolated and the relationship that ties the family together tears apart. We need others who are close in our lives in order to function properly with those we are surrounded by day in and out.... [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams]
1233 words (3.5 pages)
- Symbols and Symbolism in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie illustrates how Tennessee Williams incorporates symbols to help express the central theme of the play. One of the recurring symbols, apparent throughout the play, is that of the "glass menagerie" - symbolic of Laura herself. Another symbol for Laura is the glass unicorn. Still another symbol is that of the picture of the father - symbolic of freedom. These symbols play an important part in the development of the plot, as well as the theme of the play.... [tags: Glass Menagerie Essays Williams]
732 words (2.1 pages)
- Alienation in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie Life is a lonely tale of alienation, as Tennessee Williams conveys though his play, “The Glass Menagerie.” Williams surrounds Laura in isolation from a world in which they wish to belong to by using various symbols. The symbolic nature of the motifs hidden within the lines of this play provides meaning to the theme found consistent throughout the play: Individuals are all alone in the world. Williams brilliantly illuminates the idea of isolation through the symbolic use of glass.... [tags: Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Essays]
950 words (2.7 pages)
- Tennessee Williams: The Astounding Playwright Tennessee Williams is a world war II playwright that wrote short stories, plays, essays, and several others. He went through a very tough and interesting life of writing. He was criticized for a lot of his works, but a good amount of his works was put on Broadway for how good they were. He received to many awards to count for his pieces. He focused on topics of families or people that had struggles through-out their life. Therefore, Tennessee Williams all round is an astounding playwright that no one expected to do as well as he did because of his topics.... [tags: Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie]
1026 words (2.9 pages)