The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is about four persons who are trying to avoid their present real life by retreating into their separate worlds. The Glass Menagerie is a memory play because it is told from the memory of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. The readers live the story through Tom’s eyes; they see what he sees and feel what he feels. Both, the play’s style and content are inspired by memory.
According to Williams, is the first condition of the play”. The use of music, lack of realism and the frequent symbolism are all due to its origins in memory. As it will be illustrated in this paper, memory is a major theme of the play because most characters are haunted by it. It will also display the various symbols of escape in the play, and why some characters prefer to escape their lives by living in the past.
The Glass Menagerie is described as a memory play because the story is drawn from the narrator’s own memory, Tom Wingfield. Being a self-described memory means that it will be somewhat removed from reality, the way it was remembered and not necessarily the way it was. At the beginning of scene one, Tom goes back to the days when he was a younger Tom and starts telling his version of the story. To set the scene for us, Tom explains, “I turn back time. I reverse it to the quaint period, the thirties¦.” This means that Tom is telling a story that long took place, and that he is recalling the details to tell them to the audience. Furthermore, he explains that what we are about to see is a memory, and that the most realistic character is the gentleman caller.
Memory is an important theme of the play because in some way the whole play revolves around this specific theme. The play discusses the power of memory, and how some people hold on to their memories so much that they cannot move on with their lives. Throughout the play, Tom discusses how every single member of his family is longing to escape their present lives. Tom, too,... [continues]
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