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

In the memory play "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, the author is giving his audience a peek of his own life. With exaggeration of the character's emotions and situations,

Extracts from this document...


The Glass Menagerie Character Analysis In the memory play "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, the author is giving his audience a peek of his own life. With exaggeration of the character's emotions and situations, he shows how he felt during his childhood and youth. The characters Tom and Laura, which are a reflection of Tennessee and his sister Rose, have several traits that show how unique they are in comparison to others. The two characters in this play are lost, living in an illusion-like atmosphere, trying to escape from the real world. Throughout the play, Tom and Laura both undergo a change that brings them, from illusion, back to the real world and makes them face reality. At the beginning of the play, Tom and Laura both make the impression that they want to escape. Melancholy is shown already in the first scene of the play. The phrase "..in the rear of the building, one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in over-crowded urban centers of lower middle-class population," shows in what conditions the siblings grew up. Right at the beginning, Tom demonstrates that he has problems facing reality. "I have tricks in my pocket- I have things up my sleeve-but I am the opposite of the stage magician. ...read more.


She enrolled Laura into business school to make sure that when Tom is gone, Laura can take care of the left over family. She should encourage the children to work together as a family instead of carrying out fights with Tom. At the end she faces distress when Jim disappoints Laura. Following this, she shouts at Tom, causing him to leave the house and her to have more distress. This shows that she is not been enough in reality to know how to deal with distress. Amanda contributes to the melancholic atmosphere instead of helping to get out of their position. The characters Tom and Laura are both dynamic, both undergoing changes. Tom undergoes changes twice in the course of the play. First, Tom feels trapped and hides himself in a world full of illusions. As Amanda finds out that Jim, the boy Tom brought as a potential suitor for his sister, was engaged, she blamed Tom for playing a joke on them and being selfish. At this point the first transition occurs since Tom, until this point, was dreaming of how to get rid of his problems but then started taking real definite steps in changing his life; he decided to join the Marines. The second transition in Tom's life occurs at the end when he comes back to the apartment. ...read more.


He often gives clues to the reader about what kind of person the character is. He uses symbols to show the wants and personalities of the characters. He uses the fire escape as a symbol to show that the characters want to escape from reality and he shows the glass menagerie as a symbol for Laura's "glass" personality. Through Laura's old fashioned appearance, he shows that her personality tends to be monotonous. Tom's speech about the magician getting out of the closed coffin without moving a nail emphasizes his wants by using words. Through the reactions of the characters Williams emphasizes their characteristics. Laura, who is emotionally unstable, falls in a slight depression after Jim disappoints her with the news of his engagement, while Tom decides to take other measures and join the marines to change his life. Overall one can conclude that the characters Tom and Laura from the Wingfield family existed in a false sense of reality and could not see the difference of what was truth and what was fiction. Both characters undergo an important transition from a world of illusion to the real world, which affects each character differently. For the two characters truth was a word that they wanted to escape from but at the end Tom realized that one cannot escape from the truth and reality, however one can take different measures in order to solve or reduce his problems. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mila Djurkovic English 11c ...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 ...

    Tom almost bitterly describes how his father was a 'telephone man who fell in love with long distances' and 'skipped the light fantastic out of town', abandoning his family. The character is not only a part of Tom's own life but has a loose basis on Williams' life as his

  2. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    As a result of this he is often very frustrated and one of the only ways he can get the slightest sense of freedom is by going to the movies, which he later expresses his discontent for (Book Summary - The Glass Menagerie).

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

    In SCENE 5 Tom tells his mother that her request has been fulfilled as she asked him- he asked a young man to come home for dinner. They both talk about dreams and hopes Amanda says hers' are "success and happiness for my precious children", Tom thinks that it is actually "a gentleman caller!".

  2. What kind of Play is The Glass Menagerie?

    * The point to stress is that our experience of tragedy depended on the idea of a god or gods who gave meaning to our lives but once we move to a secular age then we are faced with the prospect of no meaning and perhaps that is modern tragedy.

  1. The Glass Menagerie - Symbols

    Laura and Amanda both have different views on Mr Wingfield. Laura looks up to the picture of her father and goes to it and the old victrola for comfort when she is frightened. Amanda however is the complete opposite of Laura and always speaks of him when she talks about bad things, e.g.

  2. Discuss the dramatic impact of Scene One in the Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams ...

    At the end of scene one, a "shaft of very clear light is thrown on [Laura's] face". This underlines the fact that she cannot cope with her mothers' attitude towards her and the gentlemen callers. Laura feels pressurised, leaving an even more distressed character showing.

  1. Badminton - Observation, Analysis and Evaluation of strengths.

    The follow through is a very important part of the drop shot and I carry out this at a much better standard than Owen as he doesn't tend to follow through at all. My recovery is much stronger than that of Owens as he doesn't seem to be bothered about

  2. The Glass Menagerie. How does Amanda's Southern Background affect her present life and her ...

    This speech show that Amanda has strong opinions over such a trivial thing as chewing when she is pontificating to Tom about how to eat. She gives authority to what she says by claiming it is true using a scientific fact.

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