"The Glass Menagerie"by Tennessee Williams.

Essay by ofpaCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

download word file, 6 pages 4.0 1 reviews

People often spend a majority of their lives searching for acceptance. To be loved and admired by family and friends seems to be a priority. In this respect, the characters in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie are no different from the rest of us. Tom Wingfield desperately wants his mother's and sister's approval. He willingly subjects himself to harsh living conditions and an unfulfilling job simply so that he can know that his family appreciates him (Hively). Taking care of his family provides a sense of accomplishment he would not have otherwise. Although Tom refers to himself as "the bastard son of a bastard" (Williams 80; sc. 6), he proves his generosity through his actions.

In order for Tom to be a true imitation of his absent father, he is going to have to meet certain criteria. Amanda, Tom's mother, repeatedly adds items to the list of character traits possessed by her nonexistent husband.

Tom will have to be a charmer because "One thing your father had plenty of--was charm (Williams 36; sc. 2)!" He will have to be able to convince people that he possesses an undeniable innocence because "That innocent look of your father's had everyone fooled (Williams 64; sc. 5)!" He will have to drink, take pride in his appearance, think of himself first, and fall in love with long distances because his father did. If he can do these things, then he will truly be the bastard son of a bastard that he wants to believe that he is. Tom's problem, however, stems from his inability to live up to the example that his father has set for him.

In the simplest of terms, Tom is a nice person. He stays with his family for as long as he does merely because he would feel...