Joey Leonti The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Module 7 October 25, 2017
Plagued with addiction, health issues, emotional distress, and a rough upbringing, Tennessee Williams was able to put these ailments to the side and carry a career as an accomplished author, poet, and playwright (“Biography” 1-2). In Tennessee’s novella The Glass Menagerie, a story of a family’s struggles taking place in St Louis, Missouri, 1937, much of the story’s plot and characters have a strikingly similar reality to that of Tennessee and his own personal life. In particular, one of the main characters and the story’s narrator Tom Wingfield shows a life with close correlation to that of Tennessee’s. It can be concluded that Tennessee Williams uses his art and talent for writing as an outlet to express his emotional pain. Williams shows that emotional pain can be expressed through the process of art by the tension Tom’s mother creates, the love for reading and writing, and the need for adventure. Williams shows that emotional pain can be expressed through art by showing a connection between Tom and his own mother’s inability to accept their sister’s potential and proficiency in life. In the case of Tennessee and his sister, Tennessee’s mother Edwina wasn’t truly accepting of his sister Rose and was convinced to have an operation on Rose’s brain to fix what was seen as “erratic behavior” (“Biography” 1). Tennessee
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Tennessee Williams is one the major writers of the mid-twentieth century. His work includes the plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. One theme of The Glass Menagerie is that hopeful aspirations are followed by inevitable disappointments. This theme is common throughout all of Williams' work and throughout his own life as well. It is shown through the use of symbols and characters.
Tennessee Williams is regarded as a pioneering playwright of American theatre. Through his plays, Williams addresses important issues that no other writers of his time were willing to discuss, including addiction, substance abuse, and mental illness. Recurring themes in William’s works include the dysfunctional family, obsessive and absent mothers and fathers, and emotionally damaged women. These characters were inspired by his experiences with his own family. These characters appear repeatedly in his works with their own recurring themes. Through The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams presents the similar thematic elements of illusion, escape, and fragility between the two plays, proving that although similar, the themes within these plays are not simply recycled, as the differences in their respective texts highlight the differences of the human condition.
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 Castle by Jeannette Walls, Jeannette finds herself caught between colliding ethnic cultures when she makes a new friend who is African American and her grandmother, Erma, does not approve. Jeannette is confronted with Erma’s opinion when she says, “Keep this up and people are going to think you’re a nigger lover” (143). This quote shows how Jeannette was caught between the approval of a family member and what she considered was the right thing. It is obvious Erma is very racist and this greatly bothers Jeannette, whose parents have taught her to see no difference, but regardless she is not swayed by anything Erma says. Jeannette later recalls, “That didn’t seem like Mom. She and Dad happily railed against anyone they disliked or
Alexander Popes famous saying goes "To err is human, to forgive is divine" (Line 525). Everyone makes a mistake every once in a while, everybody sins on way or another, and in the end almost all of them seek forgiveness. The very nature of people is to get upset and feel resentful towards those who have done some harm to them in any way. Humans tend to remember the undesirable actions that others inflict upon them. Forgiveness is overcoming the feeling of resentment towards the person who has done wrong to us. In the novel "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls, Jeanette is constantly forgiving her parents for their unsuitable choices; choices that often leave them impoverished, emaciated, and in abhorrent conditions. Jeanette proves that even
To many people poverty is simply a socio-economic issue. To Jeannette Walls, poverty is her entire life. In this passage of The Glass Castle, Jeannette and her siblings are forced to face a situation they seem to have encountered before; hunger. Due to her dad’s newfound unemployment, Jeannette and her family are forced to limit the amount of food they eat and when Jeannette brings up this idea of eating less to help limit costs, Lori simply replies “We have before”, which helps to infer that this isn’t a new issue for them. This is one issue of many that have affected the Walls family due to the environment the parents have made. In the Glass Castle, we see Jeanette’s parents create an environment for Jeanette and her siblings where for a
Established as one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century, Tennessee Williams used his writing as a form of therapy. The author came from a troubled background consisting of alcoholism, mental breakdowns, and general unhappiness; Williams exploited these unfortunate events and allowed them to motivate his literature. In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois’ struggles represent the reality of people’s lives, “an enduring concern of [Williams’] throughout his writing career (Henthorne 1). Blanche captures our focus with her seemingly sincere and fragile nature, but it is later revealed that this is just an illusion within her own mind. She resides in a world of fantasy to shield herself against the harsh threats of reality and her own fears. Blanche’s main objective in the play is to keep herself from falling apart in a world of cruelty through alcoholism and illusion. Through the characterization of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams depicts the coping mechanism of fantasy and its detrimental repercussions by exploring the specific experiences that eventually impede her happiness.
The life of a parent is a difficult journey. To be an acceptable parent, the parent must complete different tasks such as being employed therefore providing needs of children. Oftentimes, society judges a parent on their ability to provide for their children. For example, if the father determines to abuse his daughter, society will rebuke him. However, it only takes a child to show their love towards their parents for society to accept that he is able to provide for that child’s needs. In the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, the relationship between Jeannette and her father projects throughout the book due to the attachment they have towards one another. Despite the destruction her father have placed in her life, Jeannette continuously
While life has various precious resources, only some ever truly are important to the world. Even though we may choose what is precious to us, there will always be one above the rest. Money is our most precious resource in this world because we make lives for ourselves with it, and without money life would be difficult to go through.
There are multiple themes throughout the novel, but five really grab the reader’s attention. The first is self-sufficiency. Even during their hardest times, Rex and Rose Mary refuse to become a charity case. Walls stated that, “Mom liked to encourage self-sufficiency in all living creatures.” (77). They do not even accept help from their children in their late adulthood, even though they depended on the childrens’ incomes while they lived in Welch. The value of being self sufficient descends mainly from Rose Mary, whose upbringing in an incredibly disciplined home leads her to believe rules are overrated and everyone should be a free spirit. Her children, must learn how to be self sufficient and strong. They should not rely on society or doctors
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.
Forgiveness, is one of the highlighting themes of The Glass Castle. Jeanette forgiving her parents for their actions allowed her to thrive. In a person’s life, they are most likely going to come across a point in time where they have to forgive someone. Throughout my life, I have been presented with several opportunities to forgive someone. Some of those times, I didn’t forgive. One of the times I had to forgive someone was last year. My two best friends got into an argument. At first, I thought they would work it out since it didn’t seem that problematic. However, I came to find out that the argument was worse than I thought and one of my friends kept accusing of my other friend for things she didn’t do. This led my friend to go through a
Brimming with excitement, Jeanette decides to follow her sister, Lori, to New York. Her brother, Brian, shares Jeanette’s excitement and helps her count down the days until Jeanette leaves. On page 238 of The Glass Castle, Jeanette mentions that one night before her departure, her father, Rex Wells, visits her room. Her father carries the blueprints of the Glass Castle under his arm. Rex unrolls the blueprints and tries to convince Jeanette to stay by promising to build the Glass Castle. Jeanette refuses to be enamored by her father's empty promise. Jeanette has realized that her family has become a hindrance to her. The dialogue between Jeanette and Rex shows the separation that has grown between Jeanette and her family. Rex’s tone is pleading
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.
Written in 1944, Tennessee Williams wrote a play during World War II when people were barely making ends meet. Centering on the Wingfield family, the story consisted of five characters: Amanda Wingfield (the mother), Laura Wingfield (the daughter), Tom Wingfield (son, narrator, Laura’s older brother), Jim Connor (Tom and Laura’s old acquaintance from high school) and Mr. Wingfield (father to Tom and Laura, and Amanda’s husband)- who abandoned the family long before the start of the play. The title, “The Glass Menagerie”, represented a collection of glass animals on display in the Wingfields’ home. At one point or another, these animals then represented each character when they couldn’t accept reality. The theme of this play were about the