The Metamorphosis of Tom in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
In Tennessee William's play, The Glass Menagerie, the character of Tom is both a son and a brother. Tom has also been forced into the role as the man of the house because of his father's departure. He is very unique and somewhat unpredictable in his words and actions. Tom is selfish, yet caring, and he has a strong need for adventure. Without doubt, Tom is the most round and dynamic character in the play.
Tom's role in his household is to provide for his sister and mother by working at the shoe warehouse. He basically gives up his life so his family can live. So how can one say that Tom is selfish? The reader has to look further than skin deep. Tom works at the warehouse but he truly despises it, because in scene three he said, "I'd rather somebody picked up a crowbar and batter out my brains than go back mornings."(Williams 1036).
Also, it seems Tom does not care if he gets fired or not judging by the amount of time that he spends writing poetry at work. Tom does not appreciate what he has or that his family is provided for. Tom also shows a hint of selfishness when he tells Amanda that there is nothing in that house that he can honestly call his own. Tom also goes to the movies or gets drunk almost every night and he knows that Amanda and Laura are worried about him but that changes nothing. He still goes out without thinking of how it affects his mother or sister.
To escape from his slow life while he was at home Tom goes to the movies almost every night. It is at the movies that Tom can drink and somehow live his adventurous life through his imagination and the characters in the movies. The movies only satisfied Tom's thirst for adventure a short while, as Tom watched more movies his desire for adventure grew. Time went on and Tom became fed up with the movies and the people who watched them, as seen from this statement "People go to the movies instead of moving." (1054). He meant that people live their lives through the people in the movies and forget about their own dreams and goals. They just go through the same motions day after day and when they get a need for adventure they just go to the movies. Tom was determined not to let that happen to him. He has dreams, a need for adventure, and he is determined to go through with them.
The most selfish act that Tom commits is when he does not pay the light bill. Tom uses the money that Amanda gave him for the light bill to join the Merchant Marines and leaves his mother and sister to care for themselves. The reader can realize that Tom is not bothered by this decision because when Jim asked Tom "How about your mother?"(1054), Tom replied, "I'm like my father. The bastard son of a bastard. See how he grins? And he's been absent going on sixteen years!"(1054). Tom basically says that since his father left and had no hard...