Conflicting forces and their results

Essay by elitehacker63High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

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Like the British novelist Laurence Sterne wrote "No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing is to have a man's mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time." Such conflict by two compelling desires, obligations and influences can be seen in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie. Tom Wingfield faces a conflict between the desire to live one's own life and the responsibility for one's family. This conflict within the character of Tom Wingfield therefore illuminates the meaning of the work as whole and the overall flow of the play.

From the start the reader is informed of the surroundings and most important the style of narration which we are about to see. Tom Wingfield which presents himself as the narrator of the play informs the reader that what they about to see is a work of memory and therefore is not realistic.

Tom along with his family was abandoned by his father many years ago and now Tom supports the family with his wages. However an inevitable tension between the family members seems obvious and Amanda, Tom's mother treats him as a child, controlling his every decision and actions "Honey, don't push with your fingers." Amanda which lives in a world of fantasy retelling her youth stories of "gentleman callers" she tells of the time she received "seventeen gentleman callers." While is apparent that Amanda loves her children it is inevitable to stop the conflict building up inside Tom.

The beginning of scene II quotes "Laura, Haven't You Ever Liked Some Boy" with it's capitalization of every word is clear to spot it's importance. Laura's which is crippled takes care of her glass menagerie a symbol of her weakness and frailty, she...