To What Extent Is The Play "The Glass Menagerie" The Biography Of Tennessee William's Life?

1241 words - 5 pages

Tennesse Williams has written a number of plays in his lifetime. The success he gained from one of his plays "The Glass Menagerie" written in the 1940s has proven him to be a very popular and appealing playwright in America. Through a series of twists and turns of the play it actually reflects upon the harsh reality and uncomfortable life he has been facing with his family. As a result there are many similarities between the events of his life and the events that take place in the play.The characters in this play are equivalent to the members of William's own family. Williams is portrayed as Tom, his mother Edwina is represented as Amanda in the play and his mentally disabled sister Rose as Laura who was ironically physically disabled. His parents were virtually separated and his dad has irresponsibly abandoned the family. The play has been set in St Louis which was where Williams lived in.In 1911 Tennessee William was called Thomas Lanier Williams III at the time when he was born. He decided to change his name to Tennessee, which he thought sounded much more upmarket. In the play, Tom is not only a character but also the narrator, which gives a sense to the audience of him actually telling events from his real life. Interestingly this play was set being in the 1930s where the character Tom is established as in his twenties where in reality Williams was also in his twenties during that period of the century. As a child Williams often felt caught and trapped in the arguments between his mother and father. In the play his family was caging in Tom, as he was the one that was responsible of supporting them financially. With such responsibility Tom was not able to live in a life that was "full of adventure". This led him in telling the audience of the harsh feelings he went through during these experiences of being trapped in. In reality he used to escape the entanglement by going to Forest Park Zoo that he found his metaphor of home as menagerie. Similarly in the play his escape from the family each day was by going to the movies as often as he possibly could. These similarities are used to emphasise on Williams impossibility to escape reality and as a result the audience feels a sense of regret for him. As a child Williams liked acting out small dramas that were exciting and as a matter of fact when Williams grew older he hated his job at the shoe warehouse which he described as "thorn-in-flesh". This is completely linked to Tom who also had a job at a shoe warehouse which he also hated as it was not exciting enough. In the play Tom lived with his mum and sister which he hated and often dreamt of escaping forever from them. In a sense, Tom did not want any female attachments at that period of his life but as a child Williams had excessive attachment with female members of his family as they often took care of him. This is seen as rather ironic because when Williams was a young boy he did not mind the company of female members from his family but...

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