Critical Analysis on an extract of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee William

Essay by serenity87 August 2005

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"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams shows a scene where Amanda (the mother) confronts Tom (her son) who made a grave mistake in match making Laura (his sister) and his best friend, who happens to be engaged. All this events happen within the comfort of the family home, displaying the intense feeling of something ominous just about to happen- the family conflict. This is demonstrated through the failure in the family's ability to communicate and comprehend each other. This creates familiarity within the audience as well as sympathy, as the audience is able to relate to the happenings as depicted. Sympathy wells up within them too as the break up of the family is about to happen, showing how the characters become disappointed and the sense of guilt breaks out within them, in which their only reaction is to flee from it.

The extract opens with Amanda facing her son, Tom who appears to be totally nonchalant and self-righteous.

The sarcasm in her tone showed the awkwardness and the escalated tension in the whole event. The opening lines "Come in here a minute. I want to tell you something awfully funny" shows how the use of oxymoron emphasize on the distant nature between mother and son, fencing a barrier between them, as a result of their inability to communicate, finally ending in the contrasting interests between them.

What more, Tom's lines of "The warehouse is where I work, not where I know things about people!" shows his inability in relating to others, including his family. This stirs up sympathy from the audience towards Tom as his inability to feel belonged to someplace force him to become entrapped in his own world as suggested by the lines "You don't know things anywhere! You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions!"...