Glass Menagerie/Streetcar Named Desire similarities

Essay by cheshirestar18High School, 11th gradeA+, August 2004

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Who would have thought that someone who wrote a play as irksome and uneventful as The Glass Menagerie, could also write something as interesting as A Streetcar Named Desire. However, both are written extremely well by Tennessee Williams. Despite the differences, there are many similarities in themes and patterns. Once each play is picked apart and analyzed, it is very obvious that they are both written by the same author.

A major theme in both plays in the dependence on men. Throughout The Glass Menagerie, references are made to Tom and Laura's father, who deserted them a long time ago. They all look at his picture which hangs over the mantle often, and Amanda constantly reminds them of the hardships of living without their father. This, of course, puts all the weight on Tom, for he is then "the man of the house." Amanda and Laura do not work, so they depend on Tom to supply money for bills.

In A Streetcar Named Desire, the women depend on the men again. Stella does not work and so she depends on Stanley to bring in money and for satisfaction. Blanche has depended on men all her life, especially after her husband died. She says that she has "always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Both plays also deal with the theme of loneliness. Amanda is lonely without her Blue Mountain and 17 gentlemen callers a day. Neither Tom nor Laura have lives, Tom is too strangled by his mother and Laura is too timid and self-conscious to have made friends or gone on dates in high school. In A Streetcar Named Desire, the only characters who are really lonely are Blanche and Mitch. Blanche DuBois is lonely without a man and this leads her to have an affair with a young...