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Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie In most cases, appearance is not as it seems. Within the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, appearance is viewed in contrast with reality; appearance representing illusion. The title of the play itself symbolizes the fragile world of dreams and illusions that the characters barricade themselves in. The characters’ incapability to handle reality imprisons them in a life of illusions which instigates the breakdown of social values such as responsibility and family. The main character in the play Amanda Wingfield, a deserted wife and lonely mother of Tom and Laura, exists in a world of illusion and dreams. Having preconceived ideas about what is right for her son and daughter, she tries to make her dreams for them come true; she wants desperately for Tom and Laura to bring her the happiness that her husband denied her when he left her. Throughout the play, Amanda shows that she is totally unrealistic by refusing the fact that Laura is different, not letting anybody refer to Laura as crippled and by trying to pretend that Laura is not strange for spending all of her time with her glass menagerie. Amanda is destined to meet disappointment and failure. Her dreams and illusions defeat her in the end. She is forced to accept the fact she has lost her family. Her son abandoned her and Laura will never be married. Amanda’s son, Tom, also encloses himself in a world of dreams in order to escape his stressful life of making money to support his family since his father left. He escapes to the world of movies where dreams and adventures come true, even if it is only for a moment. Like her mother and brother, Laura isolates herself from society and reality to the point where her body becomes physically sick from human contact. She conceals herself in the world of the glass menagerie, the play’s namesake. At one point, Laura’s favorite glass figurine, the unicorn breaks, symbolizing not only herself as a r...

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Glass Menagerie. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:02, August 27, 2014, from