This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Wingfield's Absent Father In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

1205 words - 5 pages

Wingfield's Absent Father in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Mr. Wingfield plays a relatively prominent throughout the play. His
decision to leave the Wingfield household has left lasting effects on
the rest of his family. This has helped in establishing certain themes
and issues in the play. The mentioning of his character in almost
every scene throughout the play suggests its role in the action of the
play. However, I would not agree to the view that he is the most
important character in the play.

Williams’s stage directions explaining the details of the setting of
the Wingfield apartment states ‘a blown-up photograph of the father
hangs on the wall of the living room’. The size of the photograph
described as ‘blown-up’ here indicates its prominence throughout the
play. Since most of the action of the play happens in the living room,
it would be difficult for both the characters in the play and the
audience to overlook the size of the photograph of a ‘very handsome
young man in a doughboy’s First World War cap.’ Williams gives
specific details of the photograph, ‘gallantly smiling, ineluctably
smiling, as if to say “I will be smiling forever”’, highlighting its
expression as a mocking one. Throughout the play, the photograph
reflects the effect of Mr. Wingfield on the family. For example, when
Tom comes home drunk at the beginning of scene 4 asking Laura who has
gotten out of a coffin “removing one nail”, Williams’s stage
directions state “as if in answer, the photograph lights up”. In scene
6, we see Tom acknowledging the disturbing presence of the photograph
when he says “Did you notice how he’s grinning in his picture in
there? And he’s been absent going on sixteen years”

The importance of Mr. Wingfield is also reflected in Tom’s opening
narration. When Tom introduces the characters in the play, he includes
his father as one of them although clearly stating that he is not
going to appear on stage. Tom also gives a brief description of his
father, helping to establish a lasting impression on the audience
after seeing the photograph which Williams has described to be
“blown-up” and Tom describes as “larger-than life”. Mr. Wingfield is
described by Tom as a “telephone man who fell in love with long
distances”, “gave up his job with the telephone company and skipped
the light fantastic out of town”. In addition to that, Tom provides us
in his opening narration information about the postcard from his
father containing the message of two words “Hello – Goodbye!” From
Tom’s narration, we see the lasting effects of Mr. Wingfield’s
abandonment on Tom. Tom is unable to forget what his father has done
and his memory of the details of the photograph and the postcard
highlights his feelings of displeasure towards his father.As the play
develops, we see Mr. Wingfield being a...

Find Another Essay On Wingfield's Absent Father in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1488 words - 6 pages being and an artist,"(Fordyce, 257).In Tennessee William's "The Glass Menagerie" it shows the contradictory life of Tom Wingfield. He struggles with being a hard worker, a protector of his love ones, and a fulfiller of his dreams. The character of Tom needed to feel a sense of independence by escaping the pressures that came from his family lifestyle.Works CitedBloom, Harold. Tennessee Williams. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers,2002. 43-69

"The Glass Menagerie"by Tennessee Williams Essay

1506 words - 6 pages People often spend a majority of their lives searching for acceptance. To be loved and admired by family and friends seems to be a priority. In this respect, the characters in Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie are no different from the rest of us. Tom Wingfield desperately wants his mother's and sister's approval. He willingly subjects himself to harsh living conditions and an unfulfilling job simply so that he can know that his family

"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

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1330 words - 5 pages The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams -Joseph K. Davis, " Landscapes of the Dislocated Mind in Williams' 'The Glass Menagerie'," in Tennessee Williams: A Tribute Tom and his sister Laura is symbolically the actual glass menagerie, the play belongs to neither of them. The play belongs to their mother, Amanda, as substantiated by the above quote from Joseph K. Davis. Amanda indulges herself in memories of the past and refuses to

"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1048 words - 4 pages Walk Away A Winner.In the play "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, Amanda appears to be entirely devoted to living in her past, causing her to relive her former glory. She imposes her old customs and bygone attitude on her children. Amanda's attempts at controlling the lives of Tom and Laura contribute to the demise of the family and ultimately lead to Tom's departure from the family.One example of Laura's control is displayed in scene

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1124 words - 4 pages Throughout The Glass Menagerie Laura is presented as an extremely shy and sensitive person. This play also describes her personal fears, hopes, and dreams. Her shyness is emphasized even more by being contrasted with her mother Amanda's forceful and almost brutal nature and actions towards Laura.We clearly are made aware almost immediately of Laura's overly sensitive nature. Laura can be characterized by her loneliness, sensitivity, trapped

"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1052 words - 4 pages "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams shows the struggle of two people to fit into society, Tom and Laura, and how society wouldn't accept them. They were the dreamers that were unjustly kept out and you may even go as far as to say persecuted into staying out and aloof like the other dreamers which are forced to become outcasts and not contribute to the actions of all.Tom and Laura, the two dreamers, were pushed by their mom, Amanda, to

Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

1468 words - 6 pages Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams        In Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, the narrator is used to reveal elements of Williams' own life as a victim of the Depression in the 1930s. Williams does this through his eloquent use of symbolism. Three symbols seem to reveal Williams' intent especially accurately; the unicorn, the picture of Mr. Wingfield, and Malvolio's coffin trick

Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

2196 words - 9 pages temporarily in the past, relinquishes the dream world of the Wingfields, giving no hints as to whether he ever deserts the warehouse. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams presents us with four characters whose lives seem to consist in avoiding reality more than facing it. Amanda, forsaken by her feckless husband and deprived of a blissful present, lives her life through her children's and cleaves to her past of lost youthfulness. Tom, gifted

Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

918 words - 4 pages Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams The Characters' Escape From Reality in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams centers around a dream of escape. Although everyone wants to escape from a different reality, they all feel that need to get away. The father is the most successful in his escape because he never has to deal with anything at home. He actually leaves and doesn't look back. As for

Symbolism in "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1132 words - 5 pages to pay the bills. Williams, through his remarkable use of symbols, is able to effectively express the theme of "The Glass Menagerie" : That of hopeful aspirations followed by inevitable disappointment, having dreams which are destroyed by the harsh realities of the world.Symbols are a major part of this play, as Tom, the narrator, is a poet, and admits he has a weakness for symbols. One major symbol presented in the story is that of the fire

Similar Essays

The Father As The Most Important Character In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

1192 words - 5 pages The Father As The Most Important Character In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams In "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams the father is not a proper character, he is instead, portrayed by a ' larger-than-life-size photograph over the mantel' in the Wingfield household. Even though he is not a real character, he still has an influence on the other characters in the play because of the actions he had taken in

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

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams 2577 Words

2577 words - 10 pages as cultural solely because it depicts the life of Tennessee Williams throughout its characters. Like the Wingfield family Williams’s family had an unstable mother and sister, and a father who is rarely in the picture. Williams uses the narrator, Tom a writer, to portray himself. As said by Gilbert Debusscher in his book, Tennessee Williams’s Dramatic Charade: Secrets and Lies in The Glass Menagerie, “Tennessee Williams’s most autobiographical

The Glass Menagerie, By Tennessee Williams

1662 words - 7 pages , theatre “is not[…] the locus of real life but an artistic presentation of stories that serve the narrator’s purpose” (293). In his play The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams attempts to convey, through characterization and expressionism, the human tendency to allow the past to control one’s present actions and thoughts. William’s tragic life created the framework for The Glass Menagerie. Aside from the obvious similarity of Tennessee’s