Thematic Comparison Of The Glass Menagerie And A Streetcar Named Desire

1399 WordsDec 4, 20156 Pages
Liane Walls THTR 475C Dr. Ramirez Thematic Comparison of The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire 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. The characters of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie are bound to their own hold on illusions as a means of coping. In A Streetcar Named Desire, the character of Blanche exemplifies the hold of illusion when she says, “I don 't want realism. I want magic!” Blanche exemplifies the idea of delusion as a means of coping. In The Glass Menagerie, the character Tom Wingfield sets the tone of the play with his opening monologue in which he says, “I give you truth in the
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