Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

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Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


Tom Wingfield, the narrator as well as a main character, appears at the beginning to explain that this play is made up of memories, and as such, it will seem unrealistic in some respects. He introduces himself, his mother Amanda, his sister Laura, and the photograph of his long-absent father. He also tells that audience about the most realistic character, Jim, who will be Laura's gentleman caller(Norton, 122-123).

Thesis Statement

The idea conveyed in this play is that of image versus reality. Amanda has a picture of the world and of gentlemen callers but which isn't a reality in the ghetto's of St. Louis. Laura has her own imaginary reality. Another philosophy is that of escape. Tom tries to escape, and eventually does in the footsteps of his father. Laura is not seeking as hard to escape as Tom, although it would do her some good to escape her world and Amanda's. She comes close with Jim, but is devastated and regress back into her world, probably deeper than she was before.

The play is set in the 1930's in St. Louis where his family lived in a shabby apartment that looked just like the ones surrounding it. Tom works in a shoe warehouse and is miserably unhappy with his life because he wants to find adventure and write poetry. His job at the warehouse certainly doesn't satisfy these desires. His mother, an aging Southern belle abandoned by her husband sixteen years ago, is constantly nagging Tom about ways to improve himself; he's so miserable with his life, that her nagging only increases his irritation and drives him to the movies night after night to escape his pathetic life. Laura, who is too shy to interact with people outside her family, is a recluse with a slight handicap ...
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