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

"How does Tennessee Williams portray the theme of 'being trapped' in the opening three scenes of The Glass Menagerie?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"How does Tennessee Williams portray the theme of 'being trapped' in the opening three scenes of The Glass Menagerie?" Entrapment is an important theme of The Glass Menagerie, the play is of Tom's memory living with his mother, Amanda, and sister, Laura, in 1930's America. These were not particularly happy times for many people due to the oppression. Tom, Laura and Amanda all appear trapped but not all by the same thing. Tom is trapped by the thought of his future and the present, Amanda is trapped in the past in the days she was a young girl and Laura us trapped in her own self-consciousness and lack of confidence. The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, so the characters are trapped within Tom's memory. Tom is showing the situation and personalities of his family, particularly his mother in ways that are emphasised in order to support his own feelings and justify why he left them. In the first scene Tom acknowledges this fact by saying 'it is sentimental, it is not realistic'. ...read more.

Middle

Laura is happier inside, in the refuge of her home she is scared by the world and protects herself by keeping it away from her. In Scene 2 the audience discover that Laura has not been attending her course at Rubicam's Business College and instead has been walking around in the cold or visiting the zoo or the jewel box. While Amanda believes Laura has done this 'just for deception' it obvious that Laura is trapped within her own lack of confidence, she 'couldn't face' going back to the college after getting so nervous during a speed test. Amanda is able to make the whole scenario about her, instead of seeing that her daughter needs comforting, Amanda asks Laura 'What is going to become of us, what is the future?' Amanda forces the thought of the future on her daughter when Laura is really content in her world of glass. Unlike her brother and mother, Laura does not want to escape from the apartment, it is not a prison to her like it is to the rest of her family. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Wingfield family are not the typical family. Amanda is an over compensating parent and while she acts caring she is dependent on her children's' futures, she is also insensitive to their needs. Laura is the only member of the family happy to be at home, she needs comfort and to be kept away from the wider world as she is afraid of the consequences, she loves her brother and mother a great deal and is hurt when they argue. Tom does feel a sense of duty to his sister but the way his mother treats him is enough to drive him away from the family. The family are dysfunctional and this may be a contributing factor to the element of entrapment, instead of supporting each other they end up hurting each other and leaving each other with the sense of failure and letting each other down. The characters could also be trapped by guilt and also the pain of the absent father. While they avoid talking about him, his presence is felt from the 'larger-than-life-size photograph above the mantel'. There is a general sense of failure and unhappiness in the play it could be this that traps the characters where they are. Laura Brown 12GW ...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. The Glass menagerie - 'Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is ...

    The other two characters in The Glass Menagerie, although only having a very loose connection to the life of Tennessee Williams, (in contrast to Laura's strong connection), have a very realistic basis in Tom's life. Tom's father was quite obviously not conceived of his memory but very much a part of reality.

  2. Explore the treatment of deception in "The Glass Menagerie" ...

    As irresponsible as it is, it can be said that the lack of communication and understanding is caused due to Amanda's self deception that has brought about Tom's deception and unacceptable behavior.

  1. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    She completely opens up to him. She tells him of how she let her disability get in her way, she tells him of how she was, and still is for that matter, very shy and didn't have luck making friends, and she even admits to him that she liked him in high school (Kirszner and Mandell 1843-45).

  2. tConsidering the opening two scenes of 'The Glass Menagerie', how effectively does Tennessee Williams ...

    Tom is increasingly irritated by Amanda's memory, as he knows it is far from reality. Through stage directions Williams shows his frustration by Tom throwing' down the paper' and 'jumping up with a groan'. This is effective to suggest the theme of memory to be personal and have different meanings to different people, but also that memory is faulty.

  1. In the memory play "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, the author is giving ...

    She makes the impression that she will never be able to get out of her place of despair. In the play, the character which makes the audience have the least empathy for is the mother of the two siblings, Amanda.

  2. The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams

    She likes to brag about how many Gentleman callers came to her house to pursue her. Tom is the narrator of the play. His dream is to be a poet and have no responsibilities to his family. He works at a warehouse, which he doesn't appreciate because it avoids him to complete his dream.

  1. Tennessee Williams - The Glass Menagerie

    He won yet another Pulitzer in 1955 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His other works include Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1955), Suddenly Last Summer (1958), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), The Night of the Iguana (1961).

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

    She tries to force him to stop reading this sort of books, and this just makes Tom even angrier: now his mother is interfering in his personal life. Amanda sees Tom's creative labor as a waste of the present, where he sees it as a work for the future.

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