Conflict Between Reality and Illusion as a Major Theme of ‘the Glass Menagerie’

1718 WordsMar 12, 20137 Pages
Conflict between reality and illusion as a major theme of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Introduction The Glass Menagerie is a dramatic play about human nature and the conflict between illusion and reality. An illusion is pretense and not reality. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams has made use of both reality and illusion together using conflict between them. Illusion is a misinterpretation of the facts. It is an opinion based on what we think is true rather than on what is actually true. In this play Williams has made illusion integral to his theme. He uses Tom Wingfield to tell us directly that the play is an illusion. Tom explains that his purpose is not simply to produce an illusion that appears true, but to reveal “truth” in the…show more content…
As a traveler, he will experience change and adventure in the world but later he realizes that he is abide by his responsibilities for his family. Tom admits that he has been more “faithful” to Laura than he intended to be by continuing things that Laura appreciates and comes to represent. Tom is a character of conflict. He is confused between his family responsibilities and his own world of interest. He lives in his future world. He lives in an illusion of his future. Laura’s illusions and reality Laura lives in her own illusion. She has withdrawn into the world of artificial glass animals because she is shy, cripple and has inferiority complex about herself. The beauty of the glass menagerie fascinates her and helps her to forget the pain of real life. Like the animals in her glass menagerie, Laura remains delicate and vulnerable. In her own way she is hard, as glass is hard and just as easily damaged if not protected, but she also possesses beauty as fine glass does and an inner light of varying shades of color. She believes that when she was in high school and wore a brace on her legs, everyone used to watch her when she was late for chorus practice and had to go ‘clumping’ to her seat in the back row of the auditorium. While talking with Jim she explains that the clumping sounded like a thunder to her. But Jim never noticed that. When Laura talks about her favorite glass animal, a unicorn, she is really talking about
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