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“The Glass Menagerie” is a play written by Tom Williams. It is a memory play because it is based on remembrances of his family members. Tom’s mother, Amanda, was left by her husband a long time ago and struggled hard to feed her children. Tom’s sister, Laura, has a very low self-esteem due to her crippled leg. The breadwinner of the family is Tom, who works very hard in the hardware to feed his mother and sister. Amanda’s wish is to get her daughter a husband who would take care of her. One day, Tom comes home with his friend Jim and his mother becomes very happy since she thinks that he is the right man for her daughter. Unfortunately, Jim later reveals to Laura that he is already engaged and this breaks her and her mother’s heart. The paragraphs below discuss the moment of recognition for Laura and how it affected her life.
Amanda wonders why her daughter cannot attract any gentleman. She takes her to college for the sake of her future but unfortunately Laura drops out of school. This is a result of her low self-esteem. Besides, she is so shy thus making it very hard for her to socialize with other people. “Amanda then decides that Laura’s last hope must lie in marriage” (Bunan 101). Amanda asks Tom to look for a perfect suitor who would marry her daughter. Eventually, Tom chooses Jim, his friend, and gives him a dinner invitation at his mother’s house. After hearing the news, his mother feels very happy and prepares a very delicious dinner meal. Besides, she buys a new dress for Laura, shiny curtains, and a floor lamp. Amanda quizzes Tom about Jim and she is very impressed to hear that he is a shipping clerk and that he studies radio engineering. Amanda and Laura wish that the man married her and they had a happy future together (Bunan 94).
Laura gets very shocked after seeing Jim since he is the same man she secretly liked in high school and “whom, she always fantasized about being with” (Bunan 104). This makes her nervous and uncomfortable and she frantically leaves the table. Jim also seems to be interested in her. She fakes an illness and decides to rest on the sofa. Meanwhile, her mother praises her daughter to Jim who pays so much attention. Laura wishes to have a romantic relationship with Jim and eventually get married. After a while, she is joined by Jim on the sofa. At first, she feels a bit uncomfortable due to his presence but then relaxes, especially when they start talking about their high school days.
“Jim tells her that she is different from anyone else he knows, that she is pretty, and that if she were his sister he would teach her to have some self-confidence and value her own uniqueness” (Bunan 124). This encourages Laura and after a few minutes, she kisses with him. Laura enjoys the kisses but, surprisingly, Jim apologizes for kissing her. He does this because he is already engaged to another girl called Betty and they are about to get married. In a few minutes, Amanda enters the room full of excitement but she is shocked when Jim tells her that he has to leave and get his girlfriend, who has been waiting for him. This is the moment of recognition because Laura realizes that her life will not be the way she wanted it to be.
The moment of recognition affects Laura so much since she cannot believe that Jim is actually engaged to another girl. She bursts into tears and becomes very depressed, “Amanda inaudibly comforts Laura inside the apartment” (Bunan 175). She remembers how she gave Jim her unicorn as a souvenir. Her dreams of marrying the man she loves are all shattered. It becomes very hard for her to accept this and she eventually commits suicide.
In conclusion, Tom’s play has a very sad ending. It shows how many families struggle to make ends meet. In most cases, families which struggle so much at the beginning end up being successful, but in this case, it is very different. Tom’s family neither succeeds and nor does Laura meets her Mr. Right. Basically, this is as a result of not accepting reality.