Free Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay Sample

The play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee generally revolves around the Wingfield family. The members of this family have difficulty in differentiating between fiction and truth. Amanda, Laura, and Tom undergo a transition between a world of illusion and a world of truth. This truth is very painful when it comes to being and generally brings discomfort and grief. It is however essential to know that truth counts a lot in any individual’s life and regardless of the pain it might bring, it is beneficial in the long run.

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Tom, Amanda’s son is very influential in the play. Despite the fact that he refuses to live in Amanda’s fantasy world, he has his own fantasies. He is faced by issues that make his weaknesses battle with his strengths but he is fortunate enough that his strengths overcome his weaknesses. Generally Tom’s is advantaged in the sense that his strength is in his ability to keep in touch with reality despite the fantasies surrounding him. He is faced by opposing influences from his domineering mother and the job at the warehouse. When Tom hangs out in the fire, he escapes from the fantasy world of both Laura and Amanda. This act suffocates both emotionally and spiritually up to a point where Tom finds a more permanent type of escape. Tom seems to inherit his father’s traits and thus feels like his adventurous desires are suppressed by his home life. He is unable to keep up with Amanda’s fantasy world and thus uses the electric bill money to pay for dues towards the Union of Merchant Seamen. This organization is a great relief to Tom since it makes him get away from his home’s suffocation and serves as a ticket towards his most desired adventurous life.

Amanda, the mother of Tom and Laura is very ambitious in making the life of her children perfect. She attempts to make her children achieve the life that she never achieved, but in the process makes her children experience a lot of grief and anguish. She focuses on the past and considers that her children should not live any other life other than a perfect one. It is rather unfortunate for her that her children choose other paths other than her choice.

She sets unreasonable standards to her children that put pressure in their own lives. Laura is put in an awkward position since she is physically disabled and thus certain standards as set by her mother are very difficult to achieve. Laura resolves to a shy life and only hangs around their home as she figures out that her mothers expectations are out of her reach. Tom on the other hand is unable to live in line with his mother’s fantasy as well. He thus resolves to running away from home in an attempt to free himself from the mother’s pressure.

It is in Amanda’s best interest that her children the best example possible but she assumes to view them for what the really are. She sees no reason at all that anything should hinder her children from perfection. She states towards visitors that “It’s rare for a girl as sweet an’ pretty as Laura to be domestic! But Laura is, thank heaven, not only pretty but also very domestic” (Williams 14). She tries to put behind the reality of Laura’s disability by assuming they were invisible. It is in her best interest that Laura gets the best of her youthful life as she experienced when she was a youth. She mistakenly figures out that it will be her failure if her children fail in life. Her desire to have happiness that her husband never gave her makes Amanda dependent on Laura and Tom to bring her that happiness. She lacks the understanding of her children’s needs, puts her focus on their mistakes and in the process refuses to accept the differences that exist in the person of Laura thus putting her in awkward and rather uncomfortable positions. 

Laura lacks self confidence, and hence has a much distorted image. She thus becomes quiet, mysterious and misunderstood in the public and in the process almost becomes insane as she loses the base with reality. Laura achieves when she breaks the social nervousness barrier and inexperience as she starts to ’’love the light’’ (William, 18). Laura is represented by the glass unicorn and begins to make through the test she is assigned successfully and thus she receives acceptance from the outside world.   

It is clear that almost all the characters are in The Glass Menagerie avoid reality rather than face it. Tom avoids reality by using movie theaters in an attempt to avoid the fact that he has nothing. Laura avoids reality and maintains her fantasy world by using her glass animal collection. Amanda does not embrace reality and lives the life of her children. Jim also avoids reality when does not tell Laura of his engagement and instead takes her memories by telling her of his heroism in high school. The attempt of these characters to escape from reality does not put an end to their problems but only distracts them. Laura for instance remains a dependent, introverted sad girl beset by fantasy colored past while Tom still faces a dead-end life despite running away while Amanda gets no means of supporting herself. Jim does not leave the warehouse as he leaves the stage.


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