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Family In Williams' The Glass Menagerie

729 words - 3 pages

The dictionary defines a menagerie as a small collection of valuable or precious items. In Tennessee Williams' novel, The Glass Menagerie, a family is indeed shown as a menagerie and how all the members of that family have a false reality, which is made of glass and can easily break at any time. Tom's, Laura's, and Amanda's false realities are combined to form a menagerie of dreams. Tom?s mental façade is composed of pirates and films to escape regularity, Laura's, built of glass animals to take her mind from physical and mental deformities, and Amanda's, dreaming of olden days, of gentlemen callers and of beauty to escape her loss of social status.
To begin, action movies and images of freedom illustrate Tom?s false reality.
Tom?s mental reality is the repeated visits to the motion pictures. Towards the beginning of the book, Tom gets in a heated argument with Amanda and says,? I?m going to the movies (24).? Tom even returns from a show he has just visited and is even intoxicated (26). By going to the movies, Tom lives his life through the silvery lives on the screen. This fascinating twenty year old has a romanticized view of Guernica and the view of war. To illustrate, He explains that a war would be better than the monotony of his life (5). Even more, is Tom?s saying, ?I?m a member. (62)? to the idea of joining the merchant marines shows how tom has fantasized of war so much that he is ready to explore the new world. Tom soon realizes that he is more faithful than he thought he thought he could have been and returns from his, now dreadful, wonderful escape
Moving forward from Tom?s mental façade, Laura?s false reality, built in glass and with mythical creatures, is indeed extreme. Laura?s piece in the menagerie is actually the pieces of the menagerie that she uses to escape to a fantasyland. This silly little girl has the ability to run away from a situation and join the creatures, made of glass, and become their friends. Laura?s saying,? I?have my glass collection (82),? as it is the only thing in her world is an example of how big a...

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