2 November 2015
The Glass Menagerie:
Hidden Similarities between Main Characters
The Glass Manegerie is a play written by Tennessee Williams centered around the troubled relationships between a mother, daughter, and son as they try to move forward from discontentment to a brighter future. Tennessee Williams is a well-known and historical Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. Many qualities of Williams' upbring can be seen in his play The Glass Manegerie. He was born in Mississippi. During his childhood, Williams' family moved from the rural south in Mississippi to the urban setting of St. Louis, Missourri. Williams spoke fondly of his childhood in ...view middle of the document...
Tom, Laura, and Amanda find comfort and complacency in images that aren't truly representative of their lives, have either overly optimistic or unfairly pessimistic outlooks to try to balance out their discontentment, and are all desperately seeking an escape to their troubles.
The Glass Mangereie begins at the dinner table where the audience gets an idea of each of the personalities of Tom's family, even the father who is not there. There is an obvious clash of personality and interest between Tom and his mother, Amanda. It becomes evident that Laura acts as the balancing force between the two. The enlarged picture on the wall of the father smiling over the family as they eat dinner butting heads back and forth shows the audience just how much his sudden and irresponsible departure has taken a toll on the family. The way in which the family operates can be seen in the quick exchanges given at the table. Though the father has gone, the consequences of his actions are very present among the family. Illusions that Amanda holds are evident when she responds to Laura's knowing doubt that there will be any gentlemen callers that night because there never are. Nevertheless, Amanda responds, "What? No one - not one? You must be joking! Not one gentleman caller? It can't be true! There must be a flood, there must have been a tornado!" (Williams 2). Amanda is living in her past, and brings old memories into her current reality through forging disillusioned regurgitations of the past on herself and her family. This causes intense disagreement between Amanda and Tom. Tom quickly removes himself from the table as his mother begins to correct the quiet details of his behavior, giving the audience the impression that this is a common exchange. As the story goes on, Amanda arranges for Tom to bring home a gentleman caller for the distant Laura, in hopes that she will find a good man to take care of her and not end up as alone as she.
Each of these three main characters finds comfort and consistency and images that aren't truly representative of their lives. This sort of lie that they project on themselves has more negative effects than positive ones, though they may not show at face value. The picture of the father on the wall, smiling and in a military uniform, gives Amanda a false reminder of what was right with her relationship with the father and her own success of how she chose to define the success of a woman. Amanda lives in a state that ignores the reality of where her life has gone and instead lives in a world where the is the person she imagines herself to be and the shortcomings of her life are only contingent on fluke occurrences and the shortcomings of others. Tom is similar in this way. The images that he projects on himself are the images of the movies that he constantly goes to see in order to escape his reality. He finds a sense of adventure that he lacks and acts as a void in his own life with a job at a warehouse that he finds little or no...