To what extent is the play "The Glass Menagerie" the biography of Tennessee William's life?

Essay by gd1A-, June 2004

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Tennesse Williams has written a number of plays in his lifetime. The success he gained from one of his plays "The Glass Menagerie" written in the 1940s has proven him to be a very popular and appealing playwright in America. Through a series of twists and turns of the play it actually reflects upon the harsh reality and uncomfortable life he has been facing with his family. As a result there are many similarities between the events of his life and the events that take place in the play.

The characters in this play are equivalent to the members of William's own family. Williams is portrayed as Tom, his mother Edwina is represented as Amanda in the play and his mentally disabled sister Rose as Laura who was ironically physically disabled. His parents were virtually separated and his dad has irresponsibly abandoned the family. The play has been set in St Louis which was where Williams lived in.

In 1911 Tennessee William was called Thomas Lanier Williams III at the time when he was born. He decided to change his name to Tennessee, which he thought sounded much more upmarket. In the play, Tom is not only a character but also the narrator, which gives a sense to the audience of him actually telling events from his real life. Interestingly this play was set being in the 1930s where the character Tom is established as in his twenties where in reality Williams was also in his twenties during that period of the century. As a child Williams often felt caught and trapped in the arguments between his mother and father. In the play his family was caging in Tom, as he was the one that was responsible of supporting them financially. With such responsibility Tom was not able to live...