Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

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Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

We all have illusions. We can hardly live without them. Most of the time they are harmless thoughts about things that are usually unattainable. An example would be when a person sees something that they want and then dreams of having it. Whenever someone holds an opinion based on what they think is true, or in some cases what should be true, rather than what actually is true, then that is an illusion. Illusions sometimes help people cope with painful situations, but in the end, illusions are only a false escape from reality. The characters in the book The Glass Menagerie are each affected by their own different illusions. Tom, Laura, and Amanda all survive because their illusions protect them …show more content…

Even when he runs away from St. Louis, he takes along his memories as some sort of mental baggage. He can’t escape the past, however hard he tries. Escape, he finds in the end, is an illusion, too.

Laura is shown in the play as a shy and sensitive person. Laura is like this because she possesses a limp. She magnifies this limp to an extent where it affects her whole personality. Her oversensitive nature makes her think that people notice the limp and thus, she cannot live normally. Her inability to overcome the limp causes her to remove herself from the real world and live in a world of illusions. An imaginary world of glass animals provides Laura’s refuge from reality. But, her illusion is dangerous for her glass menagerie serves as a substitute for life rather than an escape. Her favorite animal in the menagerie is the unicorn, which she calls “freakish.” In one scene, she and Jim are looking at the unicorn. The scene shows freakish breaking and this presents Amanda with a revelation.

“(L)-Most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie! Here’s an example of one, if you’d like to see it! I shouldn’t be partial, but he’s my favorite one. Haven’t you noticed the single horn on his forehead? (J)- A unicorn huh?/ I hope it wasn’t the little glass horse with the horn! (L)-Yes. (J)-Aw, aw, aw. Is it broken? (L)-Now it is just like all the other horses.

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