Menagerie And Salesman Essay

1165 words - 5 pages

“The characters of Menagerie and Salesman are caught in a temporal and spatial void” (Bigsby Critical Introduction 2, 45). Both playwrights depict the characters’ inability to relate to the reality of their present environment. They try to escape into illusionary realities in order to free themselves from their harsh and frustrated existence. The dreamy world is simply the shelter that provides temporary security to almost every character of the plays. However, the hopes that hang up there eventually clap. Tom’s refusal to deal with reality makes him to abandon his mother and sister. He escapes from the reality by going to the movies, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes, but none of these can fully satisfy his need of freedom. Even the final departure from his family can’t provide the freedom that Tom imagined. He finally realizes that no matter how much physical distance he maintains, his memories will always with him. Tom’s love for his sister and mother is greater than the feeling of freedom that he thought he needed. Similarly, Amanda, as a result of the frustrated circumstances, escapes into the past that comforts her from the harsh realities of her present situation. By recalling her youth, Amanda escapes into perfect happiness and blissful innocence where she feels safe and comfortable. However, none of her escapism can prevent the inevitable: Laura’s incapability, both physically and emotionally, of caring for herself and Tom’s egger of leaving the family. In the case of The Willy Loman family, pursuing the American dream leads Willy fails to realize that he has placed the highest value on what is no more than an illusion. He tries to obtain the superficial vision of the American dream. Trying to archive the unattainable American Dream led Willy unable to accept the disparity between the illusionary dream and his own life; eventually cause Willy’s rapid psychological decline.
By ignoring the present, Willy and Amanda try to achieve the unattainable and fail to deal with reality. They all have the tendency of living in the past and thinking of the future. Willy does not emphasize on what he is selling, instead, He believes that being well-liked and personally attractive will put him ahead in the business world. Perhaps he is not selling anything but himself. Willy develops a habit of distorting the past memory to something acceptable to him. At one time, when Willy goes off down memory lane, he "says" to Biff and Happy, “Be liked and you will never want. You take me, for instance. I never have to wait in line to see a buyer. ‘Willy Loman is here!’ That’s all they have to know, and I go through” and "America is full of beautiful towns and fine, upstanding people. And they know me, boys…the finest people…there’ll be open sesame for all of us, ‘cause one thing boys: I have friends. I can park my car in any street…and the cops protect it like their own" (31). Willy makes this distortion of the past in order to make himself believe that...

Find Another Essay On Menagerie and Salesman

The Nonrealistic Memory Essay

979 words - 4 pages Both of the plays, “The Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller and “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, have acting done based on memories that haunt a character in the play. In the “Death of a Salesman”, the acting shifts from present to past with the past at times intermingled with the present as the main character, Willy, seems unable to distinguish his memory’s flashbacks from reality. In “The Glass Menagerie”, the play shifts from

I Don't Need One Essay

758 words - 4 pages In Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie and in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, the characters endure similar crises. In Death of a Salesman, the protagonist, Willy Loman, is in a crisis of interrelated events: he is a salesman who has lost his wage and is not making enough off of commision to pay his bills, he has an unhealthy relationship with his son, Biff, and he is regretful of the decision he has made in the past to have an affair

The Glass Menagerie

1342 words - 6 pages The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller are two of the twentieth century’s best-known plays. The differences and similarities between both of the plays are hidden in their historical and social contexts. The characters of The Glass Menagerie and the Death of a Salesman are trapped by the constraints of their everyday lives, unable to communicate with their loved ones and being fearful

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

3627 words - 15 pages the father is appreciated in "Suddenly Last Summer" and in "The Glass Menagerie" as well as in Tennesse Williams' life. Tennesse Williams' father was a relevant influence on his life. He was a traveling salesman who despised his son as a "sissy" who caused Tenesse Williams inferiority complex and shyness to mix with other boys. His personal troubles would increase with his father's decision of moving from Mississippi, representative of his

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

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

2577 words - 10 pages Biographical information Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911. He was the second child of Edwina and Cornelius Coffin Williams. His father was a shoe salesman who spent most of his time away from home. Edwina was a “southern belle” she was snobbish and her behavior was neurotic. As a child, Williams suffered from diphtheria which almost ended his life. Williams attended Soldan High School, a setting he referred to in The

Importance of Success

712 words - 3 pages There is no set definition on what success truly is. Success is a desired outcome of an individual, but that desired outcome can vary from person to person. A path to achieve success can differentiate as well. Being successful to many can be as simple as just being happy or to others require hard work to achieve. The Glass Menagerie and Death of a Salesman share people’s views on accomplishment and how impacting it can be in their lives. When


958 words - 4 pages Williams own father who was an alcoholic traveling salesman who was always away from home. The Glass Menagerie is a play about the memories of a young man named Tom Wingfield. Tom dreams of escaping his complicated and completely dependent family. Tennessee Williams uses symbolism to emphasize Tom’s yearning to leave. The first symbol of this the fire escape which serves as a bridge to reality from the illusive world of the Wingfields to the real world

Comparing Tennessee William’s Life and Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie

1578 words - 6 pages Parallels in William’s Life and A Streetcar Named Desire and Glass Menagerie              Tennessee Williams is one of the greatest American playwrights. He was constantly shocking audiences with themes such as homosexuality, drug addictions, and rape. He broke free from taboos on such subjects, paving the way for future playwrights. He also was a very good writer. One of the things he is famous for is his dialogue, which is very poetic

Tennessee Williams

1174 words - 5 pages and experiences. In fact, The Glass Menagerie is written almost parallel to his life.Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams, the second child of three, in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911. Tom, as he known for most of his life, earned the nickname from a college roommate who attributed the name, jokingly to Williamsí heritage as a Tennessee pioneer. Tennessee Williams family life was full of tension and despair. His

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1569 words - 6 pages lived in a dysfunctional family. Williams and his mentally ill sister were raised for the most part by their mother because his father spent so much time on the road as a traveling salesman. The rare times his father was home he was verbally abusive to Tennessee and was even accused of sexually molesting his daughter, Rose. Williams drew on that experience while writing his first big play, The Glass Menagerie. Each character in the play appears to

Similar Essays

Comparison Of Death Of A Salesman And The Glass Menagerie

869 words - 3 pages contrastively, of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman along with Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie and each playwright’s application of non- realistic technique. The first major transition in Death of a Salesman transpires as the main character, Willy Loman, is imagining that his teenage sons, though now both in their 30’s are washing his fairly new Chevy automobile. The audience is gradually led into transition by a

Comparing Truth In Death Of A Salesman And The Glass Menagerie

1006 words - 4 pages Seeking Truth in Death Of A Salesman and The Glass Menagerie        Often society seeks to thwart the desire of certain people to find and/or face the truth. Examples of this are found throughut literature. Two excellent example of this are Biff Loman from 'The Death Of A Salesman' and Tom Wingfield from 'The Glass Menagerie'. At some point, they both have to face and understand the truth about their lives. Biff is faced with the lies and

Literary Realism In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller And The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

3047 words - 13 pages Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie and Arthur Miller's Death of A Salesman Shih Ching-liang wrote in here " Representing Repression: A Psychological Reading of The Glass Menagerie" that, The Glass Menagerie is mostly expressionistic: the first sentence of the Production Notes declares that “it is a memory play.” The term “memory play” suggests that it is a play worked out in one’s mental process, rather than a realistic representation. Instead

Comparison Of Willy Loman Of A Death Of A Salesman And Amanda Wingfield Of The Glass Menagerie

715 words - 3 pages The characters Willy Loman of the play Death of Salesman, and Amada Wingfield of The Glass Menagerie share many comparable traits, but at the same time they are different in some ways.Both Willy and Amanda live in fantasy worlds. They both wish they could revel in the past and what used to be. Amanda dreams back to when she was the pampered southern belle and was called on by many gentlemen callers. She remembers being a socialite and part of