Theme Of Illusion In The Glass Menagerie

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“TOM: Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion” (Williams) with this expression, Tennessee Williams begins the “Best American Play” of 1945 (drama critics). Here, the narrator and protagonist of The Glass Menagerie presents the audience immediately with the notion that the play in which the audience is about to watch is actually truth disguised as illusion. As the audience later finds out, The Glass Menagerie is actually Tom’s memory of the events leading up to his departure from his mother, Amanda, and sister, Laura. As The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, based on…show more content…
Unlike Tom who would rather spend money on cigarettes than “a night school course in accounting at Washington U” (Williams), Jim would rather spend money on bettering himself so that he is better “fit for executive positions” (Williams). Jim is not just Tom’s projection of who he wishes he could be, but Jim is also Toms projection of who he wishes he could’ve been stemming all the way back to Jim and Tom’s high school days. Tom talks about Jim in high school as “…shooting with such velocity through his adolescence that you would logically expect him to arrive at nothing short of the White House by the time he was thirty” (Williams). Tom obviously admires Jim’s character because of Jim’s drive and motivation to be the best, but Tom also projects the version of who he wishes he could be for Laura. Jim is able to bring Laura out of her illusionary world of the glass menagerie and into the real world. When Jim discovers Laura’s emotional disability, Jim even tells Laura, “I wish you were my sister. I’d teach you to have some confidence in yourself.” (Williams). This quotation from Jim can directly be linked to Tom projecting the kind of man he wishes he could be for Laura onto Jim’s character by having Jim help Laura overcome his emotional disability for just a little while until Jim reveals he has a fiancée. In addition to Jim being the
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