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"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 has written many famous works, of these is "The Glass Menagerie." It is a memory play, recalling those of William's himself. The central characters in the are the Wingfield family and the gentleman caller, Jim. The elements of theme, irony, and symbolism are integral parts of the play. The play was written about 1939. Its social background is deeply rooted in the Depression. This has a great impact in the play.The international backdrop is Guernica and the song America sang was "The World is Still Waiting for the Sunrise (Bloom 14)_." The harsh reality is America was still in the Depression and on the brink of war. The Depression destroyed one American dream, while the war destroyed another. The perspective of events told is postwar. It also destroyed security felt by the American people. Tom's opening speech re-emphasizes this"... I give you the truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. To begin with, I turn back the hands of time. I reverse it to the quaint period, the thirties, when the huge middle class of America was matriculating a school for the blind. Their eyes had failed them, or they had failed their eyes, so they were having their fingers pressed forcibly down the fiery Braille alphabet of a dissolving economy. In Spain there was a revolution. Here they were only shouting confusion. In Spain there was Guernica. Here there were disturbances of labor, sometimes pretty violent, in otherwise peaceful cities such as Chiccago, Saint Louis...(Bloom)" This speech is an implicit attack on America. It negotiated the need to retreat from social injustice. Tom's world is dark and can no longer be lit up by political commitments. The play develops around Tom's memory of the past, but presents the conflict between illusion and reality shape in terms of visual imagery. The play takes place in the dismal interior of a slum flat in St. Louis, owned by and ex-Soother belle deserted by her irresponsible husband. She is sribing to arrange some sort of future for her two children. The apartment is both literally and metaphorically a trap in which Tom and his mother wish to escape. The characters in this play are victims of fate in a prosaic and destructive reality. Poverty binds the Wingfields to this desolate place. The play is an attempt to catch the organic nature of truth, life, and reality by an act of imaginative transformation. The story, characters, and setting all combine to form a static drama. All of the elements previously mentioned have and effective role in arousing pity from the audience.There are...

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