The Glass Menagerie Critique

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Erick Stripling
English 102
Professor Koritsoglou
3 May 2011
Comparison and Contrast of Fences & The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie and Fences have been deemed one of the most influential texts that have come to be favored by many. The plays demonstrate the struggles of family life and the outcome of these circumstances. Each character within the two productions find their place within in their worlds. However, the plays differ from one another when reality comes into question. In the end of each play conclude on an optimistic manner that permits each party to grow from their experiences together. Fences is a literary work written by the astound August Wilson. The play begins on a light note but develops into a complex piece that eventually concludes on an optimistic note. Fences is about a family that struggles to stay together. Troy is the main character of the play, through him we come to meet the rest of the cast. His role in the story is vital. His stubborn and emotionless personality leads the characters within the text to become stronger individual who reunite because of his passing. The Glass Menagerie is a production that relates to the issue of abandonment within the Wingfield’s family. Since the father of the household has deserted his family his son, Tom, is forced to fill his shoes as the man of the house. Tom’s mother, Amanda, is the primary reason behind Tom’s obligations. He must work to take care of sister, Laura, as well. Since she is casted as a disabled individual all of the pressure is on Tom to financially assist his family. In order to get away from the reality he deems desirable, he escapes into a world of alcohol and movies. Both The Glass Menagerie and Fences offer similar ideas that relate to the theme of dreams. In Fences dreams are portrayed in a negative manner, it is often referred to as a nonfactual element within the play. Troy is the main character that endorses the destruction of dreams. In the play Troy’s sons, Cory and Lyon, profess their dreams to their father instead of encouraging his sons to pursue their dreams he shoots them down. Within the text Cory is portrayed as a football star, due to his talent he was offered a college scholarship. Rather than support his son’s dream, Troy tells his son to forget about the scholarship and remain focus on his job. Lyon also comes to his father on a later date and explains his desire is to make a living off of his Jazz music. Unfortunately Troy does not offer any words of encouragement, he simply tells Lyon to get a real job. Troy explains to his son that he sees Jazz as nothing more than “Chinese music,” in order words he considers his son’s music to be unpleasant noise (1149). Troy is the main obstacle that keeps his children from pursuing their dreams. In The Glass Menagerie dreams are seen in a positive light because it offers each of the characters a mean of escape. However, reality and personal issues keep each of the characters from chasing their dreams. For instance, Tom wants to seek a career in the entertainment business but cannot do so because he is held back by his responsibilities to his family. His sister Laura is hindered by her disability making it difficult for her to pursue her dreams in life. The characters from both plays, The Glass Menagerie and Fences, experience obstacles that keep them from accomplishing their dreams. The family dynamic shown through the Glass Menagerie and Fences are two dissimilar subjects that are addressed in different styles. In the Glass Menagerie Laura, Tom’s younger sister, is completely dependent on Tom and her mother. She is seen as the baby of the family, they do not expect her to do much. Due to her disability she frequently turns to Tom for financial and psychological support. Subsequently Laura’s debility leaves her shy and reserved as a result her mother often speaks for her. The complete opposite can be said for Fences where Troy is the leader of his household....
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