Analysis Of ' The Glass Menagerie '

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Kerry G. Stalter Professor Ruth Reis-Palatiere ENC 1102 December 1, 2015 Contrasts in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie lures the audience into taking a voyeuristic glimpse into the private lives of the Wingfield family, which consist of Amanda, the domineering mother of two adult children, Tom and Laura, and who welcomes Jim, a “gentleman caller” hosting him to a gay evening in the grandest Antebellum tradition. The contrasts in William’s play are manifested through the character traits of Tom and Jim (the dreamer and the doer), Amanda, dwelling in the past, while colliding with the present, the mother and children, seeking escape into fantasy, denying reality, failing to come to terms with, or acknowledge that psychological and…show more content…
M. Domina asserts that he is “the only character who can see Laura simultaneously as both peculiar and beautiful, a person so delicate that light can shine through her” (Domina). The character of Jim “While he may not be as obsessed as any of the others, has discovered that the present has not lived up to his hopes” (Domina). The contrasting nature of these two characters is displayed by Tom’s desire to escape his present situation through any and all means, and by Jim’s desire to look past the ensuing disappointments he has faced in life and proceed with a course of action that will lead him to escape the possibility of spending thirty years in the shoe factory. The fine line between the dreamer and the doer is greatly obscured by ones discouragement, and the others optimism. The Past and the Present The decaying social morays of the pre-civil war era have become dust in the face of the prevailing winds of modern society, except in the heart, mind and soul of Amanda Wingfield, a product of “genteel upbringing, still clinging to the vestiges of her past, (Moe), who with her every thought an breath espouses the polite and genteel grace and dogma in the character of a fading but virtuous southern belle. She has become an obstinate force, and a withering affront to an obnoxious era in which propriety has been replaced by a manner less
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