Illusions in "The Glass Menagerie"

Essay by interdsHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

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Within the play, "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams, characters have many illusions which keep them from facing the harshness of reality. Such characters are Amanda Wingfield and her two children who are in their twenties named Tom and Laura. They all seem to close their eyes to the realistic world and only see things the way they want to. They basically live in a complete planet of their own. In all, illusions play a major part in the play, "The Glass Menagerie," and show just how ignorant many are when they choose to be.

The first character in "The Glass Menagerie" who uses illusions to escape from everything is Amanda Wingfield. One such example is how she lives in her youth through her daughter even though she is middle aged. She always relates the story to her children about how, when she was young, she used to entertain seventeen gentlemen callers at the infamous place, Blue Mountain.

In the same sense, when Jim, the gentleman caller comes over, she regresses back to her childhood and acts immaturely and flirts annoyingly. Another example of the illusions of Amanda is her view of Laura. Amanda refuses to accept that Laura is crippled and also thinks too optimistically that Jim would be the one to take Laura and marry her. When life at home becomes too unbearable for her to take, especially with the problems with Tom, she quickly reverts to this world of illusions and hopes for perfection and happiness.

A second character who uses illusions to get away from everyday life is Tom Wingfield. In order to fulfill his restless soul, which desires adventure, he constantly stays late in the night at the movie theaters to watch, and to escape from, his mother's constant nagging and complaining. Amanda...