The Glass Menagerie and the Typical American Family

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“The Glass Menagerie” and the Typical American Family

Even though The Glass Menagerie was based in the 1930’s, it is apparent that the family architecture and interactions could clearly represent today’s all American family. This play brings about the notion of abandonment, originally stemming from the father leaving his family and then Tom following in his footsteps. As with any family other issues derive from the fact that children mirror their parents and the mere fact that we cannot chose our family but we must find a way to make it all work. The Glass Menagerie follows a trend of struggle with the fact that Amanda believes in the Southern way that men work and take care of their families. Even though her husband runs out on her, she does not lose faith that she will meet a gentleman that will indeed take care of her. In the mean time, Amanda’s son, Tom steps into fatherly role and supports the family. Tom too feels the abandonment and feels that he is missing out on his dreams and goals so he too leaves the family. This brings about anger and desperation from Amanda. She originally tries to shove the responsibility of Laura onto Tom in scene four. Laura says, “I mean as soon as Laura has got somebody to take care of her, married, a home of her own, independent-why, then you will be free to go wherever you please, on land, on sea, whichever the wind blows you!” She tries to forego the pain and dismiss Tom to leave before he decides on his own to abandon the family. In scene seven Amanda says, “GO, then! Go to the moon you selfish dreamer!” as if she is letting him go before he has the opportunity to hurt her as her husband did. The fact that Amanda’s husband had left her drew her into creating obligations within the home and with her family to help her avoid reality. The only person who was able to live in the reality of things was Jim. Laura retreated from reality with her glass ornaments and records the fact that she was crippled was an issue...
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