Tennessee Williams, born Thomas Lanier Williams, wrote The Glass Menagerie, a play which premiered in Chicago in 1944. This award winning play, autobiographical in nature, represented a time in which Williams felt the obligation of his responsibilities in regards to the care of his family. Robert DiYanni, Adjunct Professor of Humanities at New York University, rated it as, “One of his best-loved plays...a portrayal of loneliness among characters who confuse fantasy and reality” (DiYanni 1156). Alternatively, The Glass Menagerie, a play set in the era of the Great Depression and written from the narrator’s memory, was meant to teach us the how our relationships with one another can alter our futures, for better or worse. Everything about this particular play was a direct and clear symbolization of Williams ' life growing up. Williams uses characterization to depict several people from his real life in this play; his sister, himself, his overbearing mother, absent father, and a childhood best friend. Williams does a splendid job transforming his personal life into a working piece of art. In Tennessee Williams ' play, The Glass Menagerie, his character, Laura, is central to the structure and focus of the story due to her individual ties to all of the supporting characters throughout the seven scene play.
In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses the theme of escape to help drive the play forward. None of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers the days when he was a high school hero. Mr. Wingfield is referred to often throughout the play. He is the ultimate symbol of escape. This is because he has managed to remove himself from the desperate situation that the rest of the family is still
Williams’s play is a tragedy, and one of quietude. He once expressed that “Glass Menagerie is my first quiet play, and perhaps my last.” It is a play of profound sadness, and through relationships between characters, portrays the “cries of the heart.” There is no cry more powerful that the cry and inner desperation of the heart. Williams’s has very little social context, but rather focuses on the conflicts within a domestic family. Such a focus is powerful, and the playwright expresses this power and importance implicitly through the estranged relationship between Amanda and Tom Wingfield.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a celebrated and cherished play that has affected generations. Written in 1945, the play very well may have been an outlet for Williams to accept what had happened to his own sister. Rose Williams had been lobotomized due to schizophrenia, affecting her brother greatly. While Williams’ family may be real, his characters are over dramatic and eccentric. The characters of Amanda, Tom, and Laura make up an extremely dysfunctional family living together in a 1930’s Saint Louis. By the end of the play, each character has affected themselves and each other. The characters spend the majority of their lives inventing someone who will make the rest of their family members happy, and when these facades crumble,
In The Glass Menagerie, the main character, Tom, lives a life of grave disappointment as he tirelessly works to provide for his mother and sister. However, eventually, at the end of the play, Tom finally loses his nerve and describes how he “descended the steps of [the] fire-escape for the last time and followed from then on, in my father’s footsteps...”(7. Tom) after having a fight with his mother. So, just as Tom’s father had abandoned Tom and his family, Tom deserted his sister and mother. Though there are many causes of Tom’s abandonment of his family, the three main reasons are because of his dysfunctional relationship with his mother, his hatred of his job, and of the absence of Tom’s father.
In Tennessee Williams's drama The Glass Menagerie the setting and dramatization in the play are used to convey each member of the family's hopes, desperations, and fears. He uses symbols throughout the story to add a deeper meaning and give his characters a sense of mystery. Also, though maybe inadvertently, The Glass Menagerie actually parallels the people and events in Tennessee Willliams's life.
The world is crafted through humanity’s perceptions, shaped by their shared experiences of the world, yet differentiated by each individual experience. Within The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, the ideas of overwhelming truth, individual perceptions, and the flaws of humanity are all explored. Through the various characters, with a specific focus on Tom’s narration, Williams argues that the truth is only a subjective idea that is created through the perceptions of humankind, molded through humanity’s flaws.
In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams beautifully encapsulates man’s desire to escape from uncomfortable emotional and physical situations. Whether he’s showing a young man trapped in a factory job he hates, an aging single mother who mourns for her life as Southern belle, or a young lady who fears that she’ll spend her life alone, he clearly demonstrates these desires and fears for his audience. Williams shows us through the actions of his characters how humans handle a wide variety of uncomfortable situations, and how these situations dramatically influence one’s ability to thrive. The playwright doesn’t seem to believe in the idea of “bloom where you’re planted”, and the desire to escape becomes a major theme of the play, demonstrated across multiple characters in a wide variety of ways. Creative individuals often do not thrive in noncreative, industrial environments. Williams demonstrates this clearly in this “memory play”, which carries many autobiographical element. Tom Wingfield represents his own character, Williams himself, and also serves as a narrator, making him quite the complex character. Williams’s uses Tom to show how an emotionally complex, creative individual can quickly feel trapped and tied down in a factory job, longing to get out, see the world, and pursue a job with more creative elements. Tom’s escapism, drinking, and evening theatrical adventures all reflect the life of the playwright himself, as Williams was known to struggle with alcoholism
Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie, is a play that evokes great sympathy and in some cases, empathy for a protagonist who struggles to overcome two opposing forces; his responsibilities and his desires. There are many symbols and non-liner references that contribute to the development of characterization, dramatic tensions and the narrative. This essay will examine in detail, the aspects of the play that contribute to the development of the above mentioned elements.
Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, describes three separate characters, their dreams, and the harsh realities they face in a modern world. The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. Williams' use of symbols adds depth to the play. The glass menagerie itself is a symbol Williams uses to represent the broken lives of Amanda, Laura and Tom Wingfield and their inability to live in the present.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a play that focuses on people’s imperfections and how being overwhelmed can effect a person’s daily life. Tom, Laura, and their father were constantly overwhelmed and acted the way they did because of it. When Williams says:
The Glass Menagerie is arguably the most symbolic and deep plays ever written. The Glass Menagerie isn’t just a story of Laura’s disability, it has a deeper meaning behind it, and it can be easily overlooked by mediocre minds. Although the story revolves around the Wingfield family, Tennessee Williams throws in symbolism that corresponds with his childhood. In a way, he found closure for the loss of his sister Rose through writing The Glass Menagerie. One of the symbols is the play that holds a different meaning for each of the characters is the fire escape. As the play evolves the fire escape brings out Laura’s, Tom’s, and Amanda’s true desires.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams had ordinary people in an ordinary life that closely resembled the influences of Williams’ personal life while having reoccurring themes and motifs throughout the story. The play has been done by many with some variations in the scripts and setting while still clinging to the basic ideas of the original play.
Set in St. Louis Missouri prior to World War II, Tennessee Williams reflects back on his deeply tragic and dysfunctional familial experiences in, “The Glass Menagerie”. Williams brilliantly incorporates real aspects of society to reveal how they contributed to the nonreal aspects and the conflicts which affected his family. The real aspects of the play which had a significant impact on the lower middle-class families such as the Wingfields included, the economic hardships surrounding the Great Depression, the fall of the American south, society’s intolerance towards homosexuality, and many threats abroad. Although Williams play was merely a series of hazy memories, the nonreal aspects combined with the major societal conflicts contribute
In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the theme of abandonment is salient throughout the play. Tom contemplates whether he should stay with his family doing something he hates or leave them and follow his dream. His yen to be happy and fulfill his American dream controls his final decision. Through Tom's actions, thoughts, and the negative imagery of his father, Williams proves that abandonment is a viable solution in escaping challenges and reality, if it is tenable.