The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

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Albert Einstein, a man of great wit and intellect is quoted as saying, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”. Could he mean that the concept of reality is nothing more than an imagined arena with society and our place in it being figments of our own design? Regardless of reality’s genesis or authenticity it is indeed persistent and inescapable. In his play, The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams explores this notion of reality as a painful encroachment that all humans counteract with concocted fantasies and a willingness to exist in an illusionary state. While all of William’s characters exist in their individual realms of illusion, one stands out as the most harmful and pitiful of all. Amanda, the literal mother of the dysfunctional family in the play, is also the figurative “mother” of illusionary living. Through Amanda, Williams explores the tragic character flaws and damage to the familiar unit that abound when a parent’s illusions replace their reality.
The character of Amanda is tragically flawed with blatant arrogance, and Williams uses this fault to serve a dual purpose. To escape her un pleasant circumstances, Amanda frequently boasts of her popularity and beauty as a young girl to her homely and terribly unpopular daughter. Haughtily Amanda describes in great length how desirable she was, how pretty she was, and how smart and charming she was. Initially this boasting appears to relive her former glory and avoid the harsh reality of present
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