A Raisin in the Sun vs. The Glass Menagerie
American is known around the world as the land of opportunity, a place where you can follow your dreams. No matter how selfish or farfetched ones dream may be, their goal will always be available. Whether it be the pursuit of the woman of your dreams, like that of Jay Gatsby, or the hunt for something pure and real, like Holden Caulfield. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry, and The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, exhibit the various types of American lifestyles and the aspiration that surface among each character. The dreams between the characters in the two literary works differ in selfishness, and availability.
Tom is a young man bearing the responsibility of his handicapped sister, Laura, and his suffocating mother, Amanda. He works in a factory, and uses his paycheck to provide for the family. Jim, a fellow factory worker and former high school friend, knows Tom as Shakespeare, in that Tom writes poetry, sometimes to alleviate his suppressed feelings of frustration. Poetry is one of Tom's methods of escape from the lunacy in his home. Adventure is something Tom does not experience much of, and is angst toward his less than mediocre life is expressed in many of his arguments with Amanda. "Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse," (Williams 64). Love, hunting and fighting are adventurous matters, and with Tom's run of the mill lifestyle, he does not encounter any of them. He cannot find love, he does not have anything to hunt, and he does not have enough courage to fight for anything. Another means of Tom's escape are his outings to the movie, which are aided by the fire escape. Tom goes to the movies for several reasons; to satisfy his need for alcohol, to escape his home life, and to experience some adventure. Walter is a black man in the 1950's supporting himself, his wife, son, sister and mother in a small apartment in...
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