The Glass Menagerie

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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music, and sets with the purpose of giving the audience a sense of unrealism. The dialogue is colorful and poetic while the characters' personalities stray from the ordinary over. As Williams puts it, Jim is the most "realistic" character in the play. It is interesting to note that Williams only mentions that Jim is simply a nice, ordinary young man. Being the most realistic character in the play, Williams shows the importance (or rather unimportance) that he places on the character of Jim.

Always cheerful and optimistic, Jim's attitude reflects that of the model American, ambitious and hard working. In short, Jim serves to represent the American Dream. Furthermore, like the "Average American," he does not achieve his goals of success. Years after graduating from high school, he is merely a shipping clerk. Yet he continues to work hard and studies at night in order to improve himself. This reflect that of American society's aspirations.

He does not seek adventure, nor does he dwell the past. Jim strives for success in this world and the happiness that comes from it. He believes in innovation and makes the "˜sensible' decisions. His high school achievements and ambitious night studies reflect these aspects of Jim. Because he represents the American Dream of the real world, he is described as being "an emissary from a world of reality." Tom himself mentions that Jim symbolizes "the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for," thus representing the unrealized American Dream of success.

Yet, through this passage and Williams's revelation of his personality, we see Jim described as being as the exception. Everyone is living in their own world: Amanda in her past, Laura in her glass, and Tom in his movies and adventures. Jim by letting him be nothing more than an "everyday" character in the midst of unusual characters.