• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Critic suggests that the source of the plays dramatic power lies in the presentation of “delicate illusions always on the verge of being shattered.” How far do you agree with this view of the play?

Extracts from this document...


A Critic suggests that the source of the plays dramatic power lies in the presentation of "delicate illusions always on the verge of being shattered." How far do you agree with this view of the play? In the world of 'The Glass Menagerie' life is an illusion. Tom, Laura and Amanda are all fighting to separate themselves from reality and live in their own world. Jim O'Connor, the man who Amanda has set all of her hopes in as a husband for Laura, appears late on in the play as a brief glimpse of this reality they all seem to be hiding from, "From a world of reality that we were somehow set apart from." Laura, living in her own withdrawn world with her glass figures, is the most fragile and delicate of the characters, and in herself provides a realm of delicate illusions almost ready to be shattered. When Laura's unicorn figure breaks, her favourite one, the most unique one, we are being shown a symbolic shattering of Laura's dream world. The man who, for a brief moment appeared to be her escape from her world of illusions, shatters this world. Amanda was brought up in the deep southern states of America and can't seem to face life in a small inner city apartment. ...read more.


The coffin trick accurately symbolises his feelings of life and his longing to leave, "We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without moving one nail." He feels to suffocated by his job and his family and is desperate to leave but does not want to hurt anybody, does not want to 'remove a nail'. This trick and Tom's fascination with it reveals the depths if his unhappiness. He spends his time writing poems in order to maintain this delicate illusion of adventure that he holds. When Tom does not pay the light bill in order to follow his dream, they are all suddenly plunged into darkness. This is symbolic of what will happen when Tom leaves. Amanda and Laura will be plunged even further into personal darkness. They temporarily light candles to bring light to this darkness but candles are very easily extinguished, they do not last for long. Tom may have got out of the coffin but he has not done it without removing a nail, he has left hurt in what he's left behind, "Like bits of shattered rainbow." The shattered rainbow is a symbol of the shattered hope of all the characters at the end of the play. ...read more.


she blows the candles out." Laura blows out the candles and blows out any sign of light in her small, secluded world. There is certainly a great deal of dramatic power throughout the play in terms of delicate illusions always on the verge of being shattered. Each character has created their own world of illusions in order to hide from reality, and each character is so weak that these illusions are easily damaged. In many cases they are completely shattered. It was never likely that any good would come out of the situation with Jim, yet so many hopes were placed in him that the disastrous outcome is not surprising. However we can also see that the plays dramatic power lies not only in these illusions on the verge of being shattered, but also in the shattering of these illusions and the effect they have on the lives of all those involved. It could perhaps be said that Laura suffers the greatest from these shattered illusions. Amanda is a lot older and has already lived a lot of her life, and Tom managed to leave to follow his dream, whereas Laura, incapable of living in reality is trapped in her own world of darkness, with her whole life ahead of her. We are lift doubtfully wondering if there can ever be any hope for such a situation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Glass Menagerie section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Glass Menagerie essays

  1. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    Louis, from the world of the Wingfields. Tom's way of dealing with his misery is to remove himself from his locale and go to the movies. He claims that he loves the adventure. "I go to the movies because- I like adventure.

  2. Relationships in The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams.

    on her, he has a miraculous effect on her too, he is "healing her". It's very ironic because Jim is not aware of the significance of his presence, he has no idea she worshipped him from far away in high school.

  1. How far is it possible to feel sympathy for Laura and not Hedda?

    For example, the cosy, sentimental relationship between Tesman and his Aunt Juju. Through her exchanges with them and with Mrs Elvstead, the audience is made aware that she is a bit of a social misfit. Brought up by her father, she cannot adjust to the kind of relationships that normal people have.

  2. To what extent do you share the view that "although he never appears on ...

    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".

  1. A director has identified what he has called "William's delicate yet blatant use of ...

    There is almost no sexual energy at all for Laura throughout the play until scene seven and if there is a trace, then it is indeed very delicate. Also, it can be noted that because Laura is reserved with delicate sexual energy, she is hardly ever much in contact with

  2. The Day My Life Stopped

    kept giving her vodka shots, and told her to enjoy the party. She finally asked him about the party, and he said it was him. "Yeah it was me who threw the party I hope you don't mind, it's just I feel like such an idiot with the way I

  1. Laura almost always responds to the words and actions of others rather than initiating ...

    The first time she speaks is when she pleads with Tom crying out his name half way through the scene and later saying 'My glass! Menagerie' as a result of Tom clumsily throwing his coat across the room which falls onto the shelf of glass ornaments.

  2. Global organisation Laura Ashley Holdings plc has suffered differing fortunes since it was founded ...

    As made clear, Laura Ashley has faced much change during its existence. Opportunities and threats come about as a result of constant change and the SWOT analysis can help to identify these and internal strengths and weaknesses relevant when dealing with change (Johnson and Scholes, 1989).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work