"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.

Essay by tazscat September 2005

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Thesis: To analyze and understand the true dimension

of "The Glass Menagerie. To come to a basic

understanding of the undertones of irony,

symbolism, and how the individual characters

react to their situations.

Paper Outline:

I. Introduction

II. Theme

A. escape

B. futility

C. escape

III. Symbolism

A. fire escape

B. menagerie

C. Jim

IV. Irony

A. Tom

B. Amanda

V. Character Analysis

A. Tom

B. Amanda

C. Laura

D. Jim

VI. Conclusion.

"The Glass Menagerie"

Tennessee Williams has written many famous works, of these is "The Glass Menagerie." It is a memory play, recalling those of William's himself. The central characters in the are the Wingfield family and the gentleman caller, Jim. The elements of theme, irony, and symbolism are integral parts of the play. The play was written about 1939. Its social background is deeply rooted in the Depression. This has a great impact in the play.

The international backdrop is Guernica and the song America sang was "The World is Still Waiting for the Sunrise (Bloom 14)_." The harsh reality is America was still in the Depression and on the brink of war. The Depression destroyed one American dream, while the war destroyed another. The perspective of events told is postwar. It also destroyed security felt by the American people. Tom's opening speech re-emphasizes this"... I give you the truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. To begin with, I turn back the hands of time. I reverse it to the quaint period, the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy. In Spain there was a revolution. Here they were...