Glass Menagerie Essay

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Glass Menagerie Written Responses
Topic: Discuss how a theme is developed in the play through two characters. Provide 3 pieces of evidence to support the theme as it applies to each character.

“ The Glass Menagerie ”, a memory play by Tennessee Williams, not only depicts the depressing and unhappy lives of the Winfield family at St. Louis around 1930’s, but also highlights the obstacle for Tom to pursuing his dreams under the family obligations; the obstacle for Laura to overcoming shyness and inferiorities to interact with the society as well as the obstacle for Amanda to moving on from the past without relying gentlemen callers on her daughter’s future. Thus, a theme has emerged in front of us: whenever people feel trapped by the obstacles in their lives, what would they do? Their common instinct is to want to escape. Throughout the whole play, escapism remains quite strong in the hearts and minds of Tom and Laura while they are facing their own difficulties. Tom, the narrator and protagonist of the play, is firmly trapped in the life made up of his nagging mother, stressful family situation and the disgusting job at the warehouse, which makes him feel that he could never have a life of his own. For this reason, Tom is thirst for escaping from this status that frustrates him all the time. At home, the tension is constantly built up between Tom and his mother Amanda, and their relationship keeps getting worse, which urges Tom to have a mind of escaping from Amanda’s control. This is shown each time when Tom has arguments with Amanda. For example, in Scene One, after Amanda criticizes Tom’s eating habits, he leaves the table by going out to smoke. Again, in Scene Three, while having destructive arguments with Amanda after she confiscates...
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