The Glass Menagerie : a Memory Play

1905 Words Mar 3rd, 2010 8 Pages
The Glass Menagerie: Memory Play

The Glass Menagerie is Tennessee Williams most autobiographical work. However, it is not a true autobiographical work in the sense that there is chronological order and true documented facts to his life. Instead the play is more along the line of an “emotional” autobiographical piece. At times individuals exhibit selective memory, this is a period whereby we choose to remember certain things the way we would like them to be rather than the way things actually happened. The Glass Menagerie is similar to the author’s life and his biographers often rely on it as a thematic source. The play centers around three family members – Laura, Tom and their mother Amanda. Missing from the family group is the
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I was valuable to him as someone who could remember his former glory” (Williams 50). But Jim has become ambitious and has definite plans for the future. Jim’s future plans also include a fiancé which no one, including Tom is made aware of until he is almost ready to leave after his supper visit. This becomes yet another fault of Tom’s for not having informed Amanda that Jim was about to be married. Even though Tom did not know that Jim was already betrothed. We also learn that Laura had had a crush on Jim in high school and that Jim had even given her the name “Blue Roses”. This just escalates the tensions within the family unit and heightens the frustrations between Tom and Amanda. Earlier in the play during one of the angry confrontations between Tom and Amanda, Amanda yells at Tom, “Go, then! Go to the moon – you selfish dreamer!” (Williams 96). Near the end of the play their angers yet again converge and Tom leaves and informs us that, “I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further – for time is the longest distance between two places… I left St. Louis, I descended the steps of the fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps…” (Williams 97). The play then ends with the enormous weight of guilt left upon Tom. There are numerous key themes in The Glass Menagerie. The
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