This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing The Life Of Tennessee Williams And Glass Menagerie

716 words - 3 pages

Parallels in the Life of Tennessee Williams and The Glass Menagerie

    Tennessee Williams is one the major writers of the mid-twentieth century. His work includes the plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. One theme of The Glass Menagerie is that hopeful aspirations are followed by inevitable disappointments. This theme is common throughout all of Williams' work and throughout his own life as well. It is shown through the use of symbols and characters.

 

"I have only one major theme for my work, which is the destructive impact of society on the sensitive non-conformist individual (Williams Netscape)." Symbols help to show the dreams and desires that the characters long for and also the restrictions that keep them from fulfilling those dreams. In The Glass Menagerie, the fire escape symbolizes the way for Amanda Wingfield to bring a man into the house to save her and her daughter. To Tom, the fire escape is a means of escape from the house that traps him- a path to the outside world (Susquehanna. "New Critical"). Rainbows in The Glass Menagerie symbolize hope and are associated with hopeful situations (Susquehanna. "New Critical.) When Tom Wingfield receives a rainbow-colored scarf at the magic show, he is amazed at the fact it turned a bowl of goldfish into flying canaries. Just like the canaries, Tom hopes to fly away- fly away to escape his imprisonment (Susquehanna. "New Critical"). At the end of the play when Tom looks at the "pieces of colored glass, like bits of a shattered rainbow (Williams 137)", he remembers that he has left his sister behind and prays that he will be able to move on without her. Even though the rainbows appear to be positive signs throughout the book, they eventually all end in disappointment.

 

The fact that rainbows are not what they appear to be helps to bring a sense of irony to Williams' work. "Irony is a device that protects him (the artist) from the pain of his experience so that he may use it objectively in his art(Susquehanna. "New Critical")." In The Glass Menagerie, it is ironic how Tom speaks badly of his father and his leaving home but in the end he leaves home just like his father, the man "in love with long distances (Williams 30)''. The fact that Amanda wants what is best for her...

Find Another Essay On Comparing the Life of Tennessee Williams and Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams' Life Story Portrayed in The Glass Menagerie

1426 words - 6 pages Tennessee Williams' Life Story Portrayed in The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, originated in the memory of Williams. Williams' family embodied his father, Cornelius Williams, his mother, Edwina Dakin Williams, his sister, Rose Williams, and his younger brother, Dakin Williams. Cornelius was an alcoholic, always away from home; Tennessee and Cornelius did not have a strong relationship, "By the late 1920s

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1569 words - 6 pages Glass Menagerie, “unconventional techniques in drama have only one valid aim, and that is a closer approach to the truth.” The truth in Williams’ life served as the content of many award winning plays, including two which won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Williams died at the age of 71 in 1983. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams portrays the life of the Wingfield family in St. Louis during the 1930’s. The family consists of the

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

2577 words - 10 pages as cultural solely because it depicts the life of Tennessee Williams throughout its characters. Like the Wingfield family Williams’s family had an unstable mother and sister, and a father who is rarely in the picture. Williams uses the narrator, Tom a writer, to portray himself. As said by Gilbert Debusscher in his book, Tennessee Williams’s Dramatic Charade: Secrets and Lies in The Glass Menagerie, “Tennessee Williams’s most autobiographical

The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams

1662 words - 7 pages , theatre “is not[…] the locus of real life but an artistic presentation of stories that serve the narrator’s purpose” (293). In his play The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams attempts to convey, through characterization and expressionism, the human tendency to allow the past to control one’s present actions and thoughts. William’s tragic life created the framework for The Glass Menagerie. Aside from the obvious similarity of Tennessee’s

Tennessee Williams: His Life in "Suddenly Last Summer" and "The Glass Menagerie"

3627 words - 15 pages In the study of Tennessee Willliams' plays: "Suddenly Last Summer" and "The Glass Menagerie", we can find a great deal of autobiographical connections. "The Glass Menagerie" is particularly considered the author's most biographical work. It is described by the playwright as "a memory play"; indeed, it is a memory of the author's own youth, an expression of his own life and experiences. Similarly, "Suddenly Last Summer" includes many of Tennesse

Alienation in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie

973 words - 4 pages Alienation in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie Life is a lonely tale of alienation, as Tennessee Williams conveys though his play, “The Glass Menagerie.” Williams surrounds Laura in isolation from a world in which they wish to belong to by using various symbols. The symbolic nature of the motifs hidden within the lines of this play provides meaning to the theme found consistent throughout the play: Individuals are all alone in the

Memory and Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

4637 words - 19 pages Memory and Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie 'Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic'. To what degree is the play memory and to what degree is it realistic? "When a play employs unconventional techniques, it is not trying to escape its responsibility of dealing with reality, or interpreting experience, but is actually attempting to find a closer approach, a

Tennessee Williams, biography comparison to his life, and his book: The Glass Menagerie

1251 words - 5 pages " I know I seem dreamy, but inside -- well, I'm boiling. Whenever I pick up ashoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is and what I am doing! Whateverthat means, I know it doesn't mean shoes -- except as something to wear on atraveler's feet!" (Williams 62)This quote comes from the play: The Glass Menagerie, but yet, it also seems to reflect thereal life of Tennesse Williams. The play: The Glass Menagerie, does in fact, reveal thelife of

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1488 words - 6 pages being and an artist,"(Fordyce, 257).In Tennessee William's "The Glass Menagerie" it shows the contradictory life of Tom Wingfield. He struggles with being a hard worker, a protector of his love ones, and a fulfiller of his dreams. The character of Tom needed to feel a sense of independence by escaping the pressures that came from his family lifestyle.Works CitedBloom, Harold. Tennessee Williams. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers,2002. 43-69

"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1748 words - 7 pages Thesis: To analyze and understand the true dimensionof "The Glass Menagerie. To come to a basicunderstanding of the undertones of irony,symbolism, and how the individual charactersreact to their situations.Paper Outline:I. IntroductionII. ThemeA. escapeB. futilityC. escapeIII. SymbolismA. fire escapeB. menagerieC. JimIV. IronyA. TomB. AmandaV. Character AnalysisA. TomB. AmandaC. LauraD. JimVI. Conclusion."The Glass Menagerie"Tennessee Williams

"The Glass Menagerie"by Tennessee Williams

1506 words - 6 pages People often spend a majority of their lives searching for acceptance. To be loved and admired by family and friends seems to be a priority. In this respect, the characters in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie are no different from the rest of us. Tom Wingfield desperately wants his mother's and sister's approval. He willingly subjects himself to harsh living conditions and an unfulfilling job simply so that he can know that his family

Similar Essays

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

870 words - 3 pages Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie If The Glass Menagerie were performed without the effects Williams wrote into the script, then the play would barely have a plot. Williams' use of music, lighting and a television screen add depth and meaning to the play. He uses effects to portray the feelings of the characters, rather than their words or actions. In Tom's opening speech he states that'The play is memory.' Because it is

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

1152 words - 5 pages An inability to accept one’s reality and the idea of telling a story through the memory and emotions of someone involve come into play in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie is narrated by Tom Wingfield and tells the story of how he came to leave his mother, Amanda, and his sister, Laura. Amanda is an overbearing Southern women, stuck in the ways of the past and obsessed with finding her daughter the perfect “gentleman

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

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

1102 words - 5 pages In the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee William’s, Tom narrates the story through his memories. Tom resided in a small tenement with his older, slightly crippled sister, Laura and his overbearing, audacious mother, Amanda. Tom is a young man in his mid-twenties who has had to assume the role as provider for the household. His and Laura’s father left them and their mother years ago. Their father was an alcoholic with adulterous tendencies. That left