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The Glass Menagerie Character Analysis Of Tom Wingfield

1167 words - 5 pages

A brother, a son, a friend, Tom Wingfield the narrator and a character in the play, The Glass Menagerie, which is based on Tom’s memory of his many experiences living with his mum and sister during the Great Depression. As this is a recollection, the play has a hard time presenting the events objectively as the mind, most often times distort the facts of events. Tom is an aspiring poet, which works at a shoe warehouse to support the family to which is gets frustrated with due to the numbing routine of his job and escapes from it through movies, literature, and alcohol and thus many of his thoughts and actions might seems crude and disrespectful. On the other hand, when Tom resumes the role of narrator he seeks to provide a more detached explanation and assessment of what has been happening onstage, to which then the real and sometimes juvenile emotions he possesses when taking part in the plays action is subdued. This complicates Tom as a character, on the whole, because the audience would be confused at who Tom really is, is he a character that should be trusted or is he one that allows his emotions to affect his judgement.Tom has two realities in which he constantly switches to and from, one is of the squalid, petty world of the Wingfield household and the slums of the shoe factory, whereas the other is filled with literature, movies writing poetry and dreams of escape, adventure, and higher things. He reads D. H. Lawrence which Amanda takes away criticizing the book and its author. Even though he clearly cares for them, he is frequently indifferent and even cruel toward his family. (QUOTE) It is evident at the end of the play that he has strong feelings towards his sister which reside within him but during the course of the play, contradictory actions were displayed. He cruelly deserts Laura and Amanda, and not once in the course of the play does he behave kindly or lovingly toward Laura—not even when he knocks down her glass menagerie. His job to him is like a dream, unreal in which he despises and would “rather somebody pick up a crowbar and batter out his brains – than go back in the mornings”. Even the factory itself doesn’t seem real, with “celotex interior! With - fluorescent – tubes!”, however his dedication to his job is one indicator of his affection and sense of responsibility to support them, which ties him to his family.One of the ways to counter his frustration he feels towards reality is by going to the movies. His love for movies stands out in the play because he goes to them very often which he uses as an escape technique to arguments with Amanda. When she nags him about various aspects of his personality or behavior, he would interrupt with a simple “I am going to the movies” and escapes that issue. He also uses the movies to partial fulfilling his dreams of escape from the Wingfield household, which is to go on an adventure, somewhere, however, he realizes the possibility...

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