Essay on The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams

Essay on The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams

Length: 1472 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In his critical essay “The Green Goddess of Realism,” Sean O’Casey solicits what it entails to create “a real play about real people” (295). O’Casey believes playwrights embellish and emphasize their imaginative works in order to create a connection with the audience and evoke a specific reaction. Thus, the more realistic and similar to actual life a play is, the further it deviates from being a real play. According to O’Casey, theatre “is not[…] the locus of real life but an artistic presentation of stories that serve the narrator’s purpose” (293). In his play The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams attempts to convey, through characterization and expressionism, the human tendency to allow the past to control one’s present actions and thoughts.
William’s tragic life created the framework for The Glass Menagerie. Aside from the obvious similarity of Tennessee’s name being Tom, he also felt responsible for his disabled sister, Rose, who was eventually institutionalized. His mother arranged a lobotomy in an attempt to cure her; however, Rose spent the remainder of her life in the mental institution (Shute). Laura represents William’s sister, Rose, with her nickname being blue Roses and her physical and mental disabilities. The blue roses are an allusion to their frail nature and inevitable death (Cardullo). Williams’ acknowledgment of human’s imminent ending hints at a line in “The Timeless World of the Play,” his critical essay: “we are all haunted by a truly awful sense of impermanence” (275). Humanity’s fear of death and insignificance is the root of human’s tendency to allow the past to intrude on the present and future, and to, either intentionally or subconsciously, escape reality.
The ch...


... middle of paper ...


...ussion with ART Dramaturge." Reserve Room. Mugar Library, Boston University, Boston. 7 Feb. 2013. Speech.


O'Casey, Sean. "Green Goddess of Realism." 1956. An Anthology. Ed. David Krasner. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. 293-97. Print.


Shute, Sarah. "The Glass Menagerie." KnowledgeNotes™ Student Guides. ProQuest Information and Learning, 2002. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. .


The Glass Menagerie. By Tennessee Williams. Dir. John Tiffany. American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge. 9 February 2013. Performance.


Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. New York: New Classics, 1949.


Williams, Tennessee. "The Timeless World of the Play." 1951. An Anthology. Ed. David Krasner. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. 274-77. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay

- Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie, is a play that evokes great sympathy and in some cases, empathy for a protagonist who struggles to overcome two opposing forces; his responsibilities and his desires. There are many symbols and non-liner references that contribute to the development of characterization, dramatic tensions and the narrative. This essay will examine in detail, the aspects of the play that contribute to the development of the above mentioned elements. In Tom's opening addresses, he explains to the audience that the play's fifth character is his absent father –present only in the form of a picture that hangs on the wall....   [tags: Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie]

Powerful Essays
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Alienation in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay

- Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams        In Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, the narrator is used to reveal elements of Williams' own life as a victim of the Depression in the 1930s. Williams does this through his eloquent use of symbolism. Three symbols seem to reveal Williams' intent especially accurately; the unicorn, the picture of Mr. Wingfield, and Malvolio's coffin trick.               The unicorn is a symbolic representation of ways that Laura is unique or unusual.  The first facet of the unicorn, its horn, refers to ways that Laura is an unusual person, such as in her may escape mechanisms.  Laura's escape devices include her glass mena...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays Tennessee Williams]

Powerful Essays
1428 words (4.1 pages)

Illusion vs. Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

Tennessee Williams' Life Story Portrayed in The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1246 words (3.6 pages)

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay

- Amanda Wingfield in the play, The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, was portrayed as a distraught southern belle trying to control the lives of her children. In The Glass Menagerie Amanda is the matriarch of her small family who appears at first to be a woman who cared about her children’s futures- that is before she becomes so overbearing that she started to hinder her children’s future. Amanda was a single mother who could never grasp reality. The Glass Menagerie was a memory play that told of a family trapped in destructive patterns....   [tags: Williams Glass Menagerie]

Powerful Essays
1966 words (5.6 pages)

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Music in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

- Music in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams "Legend: 'Terror!" many people wouldn't even know what a legend is let alone what this phrase means. In the play 'The glass Menagerie" written by Tennessee Williams, legends which are short phrases or words, and images are projected on a special screen device that is specified for this certain play. This play has four main characters including Amanda, Tom, Laura and Jim who is also known as the gentlemen caller. The play is a memory play and includes a vast variety of visual and musical effects to create the feeling of memory as well as many other emotions and atmospheres....   [tags: Glass Menagerie Williams Essays]

Powerful Essays
2178 words (6.2 pages)

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie as a Tragedy Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)