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Book Title: The Glass Menagerie. Author: Tennesee Williams

1338 words - 5 pages

An essay on the personalities of the main characters, the problems they face and how they deal with them. Includes two quotes directly from the book and is 1300 words long.The Glass Menagerie is a play that takes place in the early 1930's in St.Louis. There are only four characters involved in the story; Amanda Winfield, her son Tom Winfield, her daughter Laura Winfield, and a gentleman caller named Jim O'Connor. This essay will revolve around the personalities of these four people. As well as the problems they face, and how they each deal with them.Tom Winfield is the narrator of the play as well as the youngest member of the Winfield family in his early twenties. He is a nice, mellow young man and has almost taken on the responsibility of a father figure at home, as he works to support himself as well as his mother and older sister. He longs for adventure and his heart lies in writing and poetry not his job at the shoe company. He is the type of character the reader feels sorry for. He has ambitions but is unable to pursue them because he doesn't want to leave his family. It's as though he feels that leaving would mean he's walking in his father's footsteps, a man who deserted the family years before. It seems like he has a certain soft spot for his sister Laura, and would really like for her to be happy. This is apparent in scene four after a fight with their mother that leaves Tom and Amanda not speaking. After Laura asks him to apologize to Amanda, "Tom, speak to Mother this morning. Make up with her, apologize, speak to her." (Laura, Scene Four, Page 28) he does so as he doesn't want to see her upset.Tom has to deal with many difficulties in his life. Not only does he feel responsible for his family but he's also stuck in a boring job in which he is going nowhere. His home life is stressful and frustrating. His mother expects a great deal from him and in turn becomes controlling and treats him as a child. To get away from her irritating ways and to, in a way, add adventure to his otherwise boring life, he goes to the movies and imagines someday living the way he dreams. In the end the blame is falsely laid on Tom after a gentleman caller he invited over to dinner turns out to be engaged. Amanda is furious and claims he did it to make her and Laura look stupid. This is the last straw for Tom and results in him leaving the family shortly after.Amanda is the mother in the Winfield family. She is an outgoing woman but she seems to have a warped image of the real world. She tries to be a very good mother but ends up coming across as controlling and manipulative. It's as though she has predetermined ideas and high expectations for her children and will accept nothing less. She wants them to have as good of a life as she claims to have had when she was younger as a typical "Southern Belle".Amanda has had to deal with many problems but she seems to react to them in a different approach than most people. Her husband left her many years earlier and...

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