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The Glass Menagerie: Tennessee Williams Essay

1931 words - 8 pages

Drinks are something socially shared, a favorite past time for many individuals. For the two characters Jordan Belfort and Tom Wingfield, drinks are something they indulge in daily. The characters come from two very different forms of expression. In Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie Tom Wingfield recalls the struggles of his troubled family in St. Louis around 1937. Tom recalls the difficult times that his mother and sister go through, including the final moments when Tom leaves the two on their own so he can pursue his own artistic interests. In a different form of expression, Martin Scorsese’s movie The Wolf of Wall Street tells of Jordan Belfort’s rise to the top of Wall Street. Jordan experiences the hardships of working on Wall Street and overcomes the odds and is now recognized as one of the best sales trainers in today’s world. Both males share similar traits, other than the liver damaging pastimes; Jordan and Tom are both self-indulgent, desperate, and dissatisfied with their lives. The difference comes in how much they achieve in the end; Tom feels guilt for leaving his family, while Jordan is far from remorseful of his actions.
Specifically Tom’s self-indulgence is mostly his way of dealing with his home life. He often goes out to the movies and comes home drunk the next morning. Tom’s need for his books and poetry leads him into constant conflict with his home and at his job. Eventually his self-indulgence leads him to being fired from his job, due to him writing his poetry on the lids of shoe boxes. During a conversation with Jim, a friend at work, Tom mentions, “I paid my dues this month (to the Union of Merchant Seamen), instead of the light bill.” This is a clear example of his disregard for home, he has made his choice. His self-indulgence is seen again in the final scenes of the play as he leaves his mother and sister to pursue his own interests. The only thing Tom feels in the final scenes is summed up nicely in Single’s essay, “remorse was the price he paid for his escape.” Afterall Tom got what he always wanted, freedom to do whatever his heart craved, and wherever the wind blew him.
Notably Jordan’s self-indulgence is at a much higher state than Tom’s indulgence. Jordan’s self-indulgence includes narcotics, alcohol, and other earthly pleasures. He ruins both of his marriages due to his constant cravings for sex; therefore, his constant infidelity strains the relationships. His need for money is another self-indulgence that leads to more troubles for himself. He takes risky choices, leading to his arrest due to him committing various crimes surrounding tampering with stocks and money laundering. His self-indulgence also is seen in his relationship with his children, favoring his drug use over having time spent with them, choosing to often partake in his hardcore drug use while in their presence. A crucial scene in the movie depicts Jordan in an intense argument with his wife, Naomi, over his drug use. He...

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