The Glass Menagerie Essay Research Paper Tennessee

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The Glass Menagerie Essay, Research Paper Tennessee Williams? The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams is one the major writers of the mid-twentieth century. He has written plays like The Glass Managerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. The common theme of The Glass Menagerie is that hopeful aspirations are followed by inevitable disappointments. This theme is common throughout all of Williams? books and throughout his own life as well. It is shown through the use of symbols and characters. "I have only one major theme for my work, which is the destructive impact of society on the sensitive non-conformist individual (Williams Netscape)." Symbols help to show the dreams and desires that the characters long for and also the restrictions that keep them from fulfilling those

dreams. In The Glass Menagerie, the fire escape symbolizes the way for Amanda Wingfield to bring a man into the house to save her and her daughter. To Tom, the fire escape is a means of escape from the house that traps him- a path to the outside world (Susquehanna. "New Critical"). Rainbows in The Glass Menagerie symbolize hope and are associated with hopeful situations (Susquehanna. "New Critical.) When Tom Wingfield receives a rainbow-colored scarf at the magic show, he is amazed at the fact it turned a bowl of goldfish into flying canaries. Just like the canaries, Tom hopes to fly away- fly away to escape his imprisonment (Susquehanna. "New Critical"). At the end of the play when Tom looks at the "pieces of colored glass, like bits of a shattered

rainbow (Williams 137)", he remembers that he has left his sister behind and prays that he will be able to move on without her. Even though the rainbows appear to be positive signs throughout the book, they eventually all end in disappointment. The fact that rainbows are not what they appear to be helps to bring a sense of irony to Williams? work. "Irony is a device that protects him (the artist) from the pain of his experience so that he may use it objectively in his art(Susquehanna. "New Critical")." In The Glass Menagerie, it is ironic how Tom speaks badly of his father and his leaving home but in the end he leaves home just like his father, the man "in love with long distances (Williams 30)??. The fact that Amanda wants what is best for her

children is ironic because she worries so much over it that she doesn?t realize what is best for them. The characters that come alive in Williams? works represent people from his life. Amanda Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie holds strong resemblance to Tennessee?s mother Edwina Williams. Williams described his mother as "a woman whose endurance and once fine qualities continued to flourished alongside a narrowness of perception and only the dimmest awareness of human feeling (Susquehanna. "Biographical Criticism)." Amanda easily mirrors this description of Edwina because of her selfishness concerning Laura?s being unattached; Edwina was much like Amanda, getting numerous gentlemen callers as a young woman. Laura Windfield in The Glass Menagerie is very much like

Williams? sister Rose Williams. Rose was institutionalized for having schizophrenia and was not able to interact with the outside world. Having pleurisy, Laura was also kept from being a part of the world she longed for. By using examples of people from his own life in his books Williams? provides even more realism to his stories and more support to his themes as well. "If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it (Inge)." This is especially true for Tennessee Williams. Numerous people face the same problems that he has faced. His writing come straight from his heart and mind which gives his readers something they can relate to. His honesty through his writings brings hope to people looking for it.