The Glass Menagerie Essay

1754 words - 7 pages

The Glass Menagerie: The Fine Line between Fact and Fiction in the Life of Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie is a play written by Tennessee Williams which was his first written success produced in Chicago in 1944. It tells of a family Amanda the mother, her son Tom and his sister Laura who lives in a small apartment during the Great Depression during the 1930's. America was not the only thing experiencing depression during those passing years. The Wingfield family Amanda, Tom and Laura were each in their own state of depression and each lived in their own glass menagerie. This paper will show how Williams displayed his own life experiences in the characters of The Glass Menagerie and how he used symbolism to express many hidden feelings and secrets of his life.Tennessee Williams was born (Thomas Lanier) in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911. However, most records of his birth is recorded to be in the year 1914 because he entered a writing contest for writers under twenty five and he knocked three years off his age so he could enter. After that he continued to use 1914 as his birth year. His parents, Cornelius and Edwina Williams lived on the Mississippi Delta with Edwina parents the Darkins. In William's book of Memoirs he states" My first eight years of childhood in Mississippi were the most joyously innocent of my life, due to the beneficent home life provided by my beloved Darkin grandparents, with whom we lived"(11). Living with his grandparents allowed Williams the needed space from his father Cornelius Coffin Williams.Cornelius was a drummer in a Mississippi band and was a heavy drinker. His night job and his daytime job as a salesman kept him absent from the family very often. Then a brief career in the telephone business led him into a job for an International Shoe Company. Life on the Delta came to an end when the family would move to St. Louis to live because of Cornelius's new job. Williams and his father did not have a close relationship. Williams once told a reporter for Newsweek "I write from my own tensions from home and it is my way of therapy dealing with my father" (Weales 8). Williams adds even more insight on his relationship with his father in his book of Memoirs as he recalls" The years he was gone where the most pleasant and the job at the shoe company just cause him to be home more which I hated "(Williams 6). The feelings Williams had for his father caused him and his mother to have a very different relationship.Edwina Williams loved her children as most mothers do. She was very protective of them and because Tennessee suffered from a number of childhood diseases he was not allowed to attend public school for his early years. This caused him to be home with mother under her protective wings. After their move to St. Louis, Williams made friends with a young boy named Albert. The two boys became best of friends until Edwina decided Albert was no good for Tennessee to be around: Mother delivered one of her edicts....

Find Another Essay On The Glass Menagerie

THE GLASS MENAGERIE Essay

784 words - 3 pages The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, and its action is drawn from the memories of the narrator, Tom Wingfield. Tom is a character in the play, which is set in St. Louis in 1937. He is an aspiring poet who toils in a shoe warehouse to support his mother, Amanda, and sister, Laura. Mr. Wingfield, Tom and Laura's father, ran off years ago and, except for one postcard, has not been heard from since. Amanda, originally a Southern belle and the...

The Glass Menagerie Essay

1429 words - 6 pages "When people have some slight disadvantage like [being crippled], the cultivate other things to make up for it..." (Amanda The Glass Menagerie) In the Glass Menagerie, each of the characters represent a characteristic of human frailty in society. Each is searching to find there place in a world that seems so out of control.Before the story even begins it presents the title, The Glass Menagerie. Glass is fragile, and easily broken. This image must...

The glass menagerie

568 words - 2 pages The Glass Menagerie Essay In the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Laura portrays a crippled character. Her handicap causes her to look down upon herself for her whole life. Laura presents herself as a fragile human being, easily broken at any moment just like a piece of her own glass collection. Laura lacks confidence in herself because of her problems and she lives her life as if she should be put in a case and not moved...

"The Glass Menagerie"

574 words - 3 pages 1994 AP Question: In some works of literature, a character that appears briefly, or does not appear at all, is a significant presence.Choose a novel or play of literary merit and write an essay in which you show how such a character functions in the work. You may wish to discuss how the character affects action, theme, or the development of other characters. Avoid plot summary.A character in this play that put more meaning to the story even after...

The Glass Menagerie

693 words - 3 pages The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams's play, The Glass Menagerie, is a story about Amanda, her son Tom, and her daughter Laura. Each character clings to his or her own dream world, each of which is so easily shattered as their illusions are destroyed by actuality. There are many symbols that Williams uses throughout the play in order to represent prominent themes. A few principal themes that Williams uses in his play are the unicorn which...

"The Glass Menagerie"

1930 words - 8 pages The Glass Menagerie is what it states itself to be: “a memory play”. And, “being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic” (Williams 5). In the very beginning of the play, it claims an air of foggy illusion- smeared on the windows of time and the narrator’s memory. The mystic undertones of Menagerie is essentially a tension in between the view of moving forward yet the truth of moving backward, suspended in...

On The Glass Menagerie

720 words - 3 pages Tom Wingfield as the Most Important Character In the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, Tom Wingfield is cast as the main character. The play is about Tom trying to escape his home which he sees as a trap. Tom is the most important character for several reasons. First of all, he is the narrator of the play and it stems from his memories. Secondly, he is the most important person in the family; if he leaves, then there is no one to...

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

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 about...

Characterization in The Glass Menagerie

1137 words - 5 pages Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie makes use of the characters to not only show a story but to also tell a story. Characterization is how characters are represented and the ways in which this is accomplished, such as, how an author limits one’s responses, questions or observations, for instance. An author may also characterize a character through his or her gestures or speeches. The idea of characterization and how one...

Desperation in The Glass Menagerie

771 words - 3 pages A 26 year-old woman kneels on the floor, childlike, playing with glass figurines upon a living room table. Too plagued by her own humility, Laura contemplates only one future for herself; seclusion from the outside world where bad encounters prevail the desire for good experiences. A lack of positive growth for Laura, along with the rest of her family, is the pitfall for Tennessee Williams where he pressurizes kindred desperation in The Glass...

Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie

1908 words - 8 pages Examine Tennessee Williams's use of symbols in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜ in the first three scenes.' I have a poet's weakness for symbols "˜. This is part of the introduction of the play , given to us by Tom Wingfield , who is not only the narrator , but also plays a major part in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜. This sentence represents the play because its meaning is that Tom is saying that he is not real , he is just a symbol of his...

Similar Essays

The Glass Menagerie Essay

514 words - 2 pages The Glass Menagerie; An Interpretation The Glass Menagerie, the tittle of a play by Tennessee Williams is also used as a subjective point of reference throughout the play. A piece in the collection can be looked at a symbol for one of each of the five main characters. The beginning of the play opens and is grounded in the connection between Lora and the glass menagerie. Specifically, the unicorn, a mythical and romanticized animal, represents...

The Glass Menagerie Essay

1300 words - 5 pages Ronnel TordilELA 20Mr. R. SharpSymbolism of the characters in The Glass MenagerieThomas Lanier Williams III, better known as Tennessee Williams, the playwright of The Glass Menagerie frequently uses symbols; we could argue that the most prominent symbol also serves as the title of the play. The animal collection symbolizes the characters in The Glass Menagerie.Laura Wingfield is a crippled girl and the very shy daughter of Amanda who tries hard...

The Glass Menagerie Essay 605 Words

605 words - 2 pages Dependence in The Glass Menagerie "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams, is a play about one family's lifestyle during the Great Depression. Trapped within their St. Louis tenement lives Tom, the budding poet, Laura, the "cripple" who lives in a world of glass animals, and Amanda, the aging Southern belle trying to relive her past. By being too dependent on Tom, Amanda and Laura force him to escape. For the most...

The Glass Menagerie Essay

612 words - 2 pages On February 4, 2000, the Western Kentucky University players visited the main campus of Columbia State Community College. The players preformed one of Tennessee Williams' plays, The Glass Menagerie. This play was excellently done. The character that played Tom, Chris Hendrix, was the character that brought the entire work together. It seems as though it was done just the way that Tennessee Williams had intended. In the original script,...