Comparing The Glass Menagerie and Death of a Salesman Essay

1429 Words 6 Pages
Both Death of a Salesman, and The Glass Menagerie have many things in common. They are both great plays, and both concern dysfunctional families. But there is a deeper similarity to these great literary works. The similarity between the parents. Due to Willy Loman and Amanda Wingfield's lack of coping skills, as well as their inability to let go or accept their past, their children are ill-equipped to deal with the future.

Willy and Amanda are parents who love their children very much. They can't accept the mistakes they've made in the past. This inability to deal with the past leaves them living in it. Their children are seldom given the example of how to work for the future. Amanda and Willy don't set goals for their children
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When the boys are in they are in their 30's, Willy focuses on the past, too mentally ill to think of Happy or his feelings. Happy spends most of his life in the shadow of his brother. Nothing Happy did is ever good enough for Willy and Happy don't truly get to know each other. As shown in the text after Willy's death when Happy is speaking of memories of his father.

Willy's desire to live in the past comes from his loathing of the way his life turned out. Willy always wanted to be special and unique, he wanted to be idolized. He wanted to be smart, great, intelligent, classy, idolized. When Willy never achieved this greatness, he longed to go back in time, so he could redo things. Of course, this is impossible. So Willy began to live in the past in his mind. Willy also tried to make Biff into everything Willy always wanted to be, yet never was.

Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie, has the same parental problems. However, Williams' novel shows a mother who has trouble leaving her past behind her, and accepting what he children are, and what they will never be. Amanda
Wingfield's two children, Laura and Tom have many issues, and are very complex characters.

"If there is a signature character type that marks Tennessee Williams's dramatic work, it is undeniably that of the faded Southern belle; Amanda is a clear representative of this type". Amanda fits into the category of a typical William's southern…