The difference between appearance and reality creates an ironic gap in the play The Glass Menagerie. Many of the characters live in the fantasy world of their own. They cage themselves in a different world where things are different and that they control to protect and to keep themselves away from reality/truth. This is because for all the characters in the Glass Menagerie, the truth/ reality hurts, and they all want to escape from what is real to them so they run from reality which creates the ironic gap in the play. Amanda, Laura, and Tom all have their own ways of protecting themselves from reality and fight against their appearance and how they act and what is really happening. Amanda, the mother, takes herself to her beautiful past when she used to be visited by many gentleman callers. “One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain your mother received seventeen! Gentleman callers! Why, sometimes there weren’t enough chairs enough to accommodate them all” (Scene 1/ Pg.8). She fabricates stories of her beautiful past and imposes those stories on her children. However, in reality she is a lonely widow left behind by her husband without much to provide for the family. They are poor and do not have enough money to support them well. Her daughter and son are failures who have not worked to meet her expectations. Yet, she enacts drama to show that there are no problems with how they live. She forces herself to live in an illusion where everything is as she wants. For example she talks about gentleman callers to help her forget the sorrows and problems of her present time. The present is reality and the past of the gentleman callers is an illusion. No matter how hard she works to keep her idealized past she will always be drawn right back into reality, and as the world of illusion topples down she remains a broken woman.
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