The Glass Menagerie

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Dalton Peeples
Mr. Saine
English 102 M-W 4:30
December 3, 2012
Happiness versus Responsibility
The characters in The Glass Menagerie have a conflict that all people have to face at least once, a decision between their right to pursue happiness or their responsibility to others. The members of the Wingfield family face this internal conflict in different ways. Each character is facing decisions of whether or not to be happy or do their duty as a family member. The characters make their decisions based on pursing happiness or carrying out their responsibility as a family member in difficult circumstances. I will analyze the Wingfield’s decisions within The Glass Menagerie and how I would react in the situations.

Tom has the most responsibility; he is the head of the house, has brotherly duties to Laura, and is the bringing in the money to support the household. Tom though has this struggle with aspirations to do more and wants more from this life, along with not trying to walk out on his family. Though tom plans to leave and does not tell him family he takes money to keep the lights on to join the merchant marines. If I was in toms shoes I would have honestly done the same thing, but gone about it in a different manner. Seeking happiness does not mean you have to leave everything else behind. Tom told Jim his plan before dinner, to leave without saying anything to his family and says,” I’m tired of the movies and I am about to move!”(Williams 1028). This quote says a lot within it, as he is bored with his life and is unhappy with how things are for him. He wants to go and change his future and seek adventure beyond the Hollywood big screen.

I would do the same thing, I believe you can have all the riches in the world but without happiness you have nothing. In my opinion Tom does the smart thing and seeks his adventure, because happiness was a responsibility to himself. In this circumstance though, leaving without saying a world was cruel to his loving...
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