World of Illusion "The Glass menagerie" by Tennesee Williams

Essay by bestbitch34 April 2004

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The Wingfield family is a family living in a world of illusion. They are abandoned by their husband and father sixteen years prior. Now forced to live a life they did not anticipate, each member lives in their own private world. In this world, Tom, Amanda, and Laura find meaning and comfort that the real world does not offer. Tennessee Williams is writing the "Glass Menagerie" to say that one should avoid trying to escape reality by living in the past, learn to overcome life's difficulties and move forward in the real world.

Each member of the Wingfield family is unable to overcome the difficulties of accepting and relating to reality. Amanda cannot accept that she is no longer the popular southern belle she thinks she should be. The statement she makes, "I wasn't prepared for what the future brought me.", shows that she is bitter and scared about being abandoned by her husband and forced to raised to raise two children alone (1703, Scene 6, Speech 135).

She never expected to live her life like she is. Tom escapes reality through movies, books, and drinking. He can function in the real world by working and talking to strangers. Yet, he would rather stay in his own world and escape the pressures he feels at home. He has been robbed of his youth by being forced to go to work and support his mother and sister. They depend on him. He wants to leave home and pursue his dreams. However, he feels guilty for wanting to leave his sister. Laura is withdrawn from reality completely. She lives her life through a glass collection of animals. The animals are a symbol of her inner self. She does not socialize at all with the outside world and is totally...