Characters In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

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Characters in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Sometimes the world can really wear you down. The stressors of the real world can sometimes erode even the most dedicated person. Sometime the only option is to escape, which can be a good idea in stressful situations. One play that typifies this behaviour is The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams. (Picador Classics 10-119) In this play, the main characters all have means of escape, each method being more strange and unusual than the one previously introduced to us in the script. But frequent escapism can be very bad for those who rely on you to be strong, supportive and earn a wage.

In the script, most conflict is an indirect result of the Father running away from the family and in that way humiliating them and removing from them almost all chance of ever conforming to the regular family stereotype of the time. This was definitely not good for the characters of this script, who we can infer were ill prepared for such abandonment. Therefore, permanent escapism, or desertion is also not good for people who base their hopes and dreams and futures on your presence. (Picador Classics 10-119)

The character least prepared for rejection of a magnitude approaching totality was Father's wife, Amanda. She was raised expecting to be a planter's wife, but in reality she was "fooled" by Father's "charm" and "smile" that could "turn the world on." She was then promoted to a position of power that she was unfortunately untrained and unprepared for. She obviously sees that her best years were as a maturing teenager, a time she frequently relives, in a vain attempt to recapture her youth. (Picador Classics 10-119) But she is fated to never be able to go back, as she has made a permanent transition from Woman to Fiancée to Wife and finally, with the birth of her two children, to Mother. After her husband escapes, she becomes the sole foundation on which the structure of the family is based. She of course wishes only the best for her children, Laura and Tom, who have not remained free from torment as a result of their father's absconding. The two children have grown up shy and introverted, Laura more so than Tom. Amanda often withdraws into herself for comfort and to gain a sense of fulfilment in life. She does this by recalling lavish tales of her ...
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