• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10

Relationships in The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Throughout the Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams concentrates a lot on family relationships. There are the Wingfields at the start of the play and they experience different interactions with each other: Tom and Amanda (son and mother), Amanda and Laura (mother and sister) and Laura and Tom (sister and brother). At the sixth scene of the play appears Jim and we see him interacting mostly with Laura. I will try to show how Tennessee Williams develops these relationships throughout the play. Starting with Tom and Amanda, already at the first scene we see Amanda, Tom and Laura sitting at the dinner table, and Amanda is constantly annoying Tom with her nagging. She tells him off for the way he chews, the way he 'plays' with his fingers and basically for anything she finds 'weird'. At first we see that Tom is respectful towards her, remaining silent and standing her comments. At a certain point he just can't stand it anymore, and he tells her "I haven't enjoyed one bite of this dinner because of your constant directions on how to eat it." A few pages after that, Amanda is starting to bring up her past and the way she picked her gentleman callers as a young woman. Though apart from the memories she is bringing up, she is sending Tom a message in disguise ("...never anything coarse or common or vulgar!"), telling him her hopes are that he will come back down to earth, discouraging his dreams and encouraging work (=reality). Even though all through this dinner Amanda exasperates Tom, he is still living in that house with her, and as we see in the beginning of the play (when he tells us)- he has returned. In SCENE 3 the plot thickens, and we understand more what each character wants and what his/hers dreams are, in contrast to their reality. "...obsession...image...gentleman caller...haunted..." This is Tom's impression of Amanda's obsession over getting Laura a gentleman caller. This obsession makes him miserable and it irritates him. ...read more.

Middle

Amanda's reaction is: "Fuss, fuss-silliness! Over a gentleman caller!" This is probably the most ironic statement Amanda has ever made to Laura. All the fuss that Amanda herself is making- the preparations, the talking etc. - where are they gone all of a sudden? Amanda's and Laura's relationship is basically dominated by Amanda. She is the one that leads it, most probably because she is the mother and Laura has certain disabilities. Laura loves her mother, and therefore she hardly ever argues with her, and lets her say whatever she wants on any subject what so ever, even though she might have heard it thousand times before. She know this does well to her mother and she wants to see her happy, therefore she remains quiet and respects her. Amanda also loves Laura, this is why she is "controlling" her so much and leading her life. She is extremely scared that Laura will make the same mistake as she did with her husband, and she is practically capable of doing anything do avoid it. Though Amanda sometimes takes this "role" too far- she is living in a world which is not her or Laura's reality, and she is taking too far at times. She always talks about her own experience and her past, and it makes Laura feel very awkward- especially because her life is not so perfect, and she feels as if she cannot be as good as her mother is. Also, we have Amanda trying to live her life through Laura, trying to fix the mistakes she made before, and this makes us think: as she really into providing a good future for Laura, or more for living her own past through Laura? But I think that it's clear enough that Amanda has an outstanding love for Laura, and she is just trying to give her the best life she could possibly have. ...read more.

Conclusion

It very tactless of him and the situation is rather awkward for both him and Laura, but now he is revealing the truth to her. But its obvious that even after all this Jim's effect in general was very good. Instead of running away and not dealing with the problem, Laura faces it a struggles with it, even though it's very miserable and painful for her. She gives Jim a souvenir, as a memory of what has happened between them, and she basically 'closes the chapter'. As for this relationship, we know for sure that Laura likes Jim, and that has been happening for a long time, but we cannot know or figure out what Jim is feeling for Laura. He loves the attention she gives him, and she is a way to escape his reality, so therefore we can say he might be just playing with her. We can also assume that maybe Jim does kind of like Laura and this is the way he shows it, knowing nothing will come out of it. The relationships in the Glass Menagerie reflect some of the things that happened to Tennessee Williams during his life. The most important thing here is the relation between Tom and Laura, which is very similar to the one Williams had with his sister Rose. He felt very bad for leaving her alone and later he returned, finding out that she wasn't well and it's too late to help her (that is why he is sending Tom back to Laura). We can see that Williams felt very responsible for his sister too, the way Tom does for Laura. Also, Tom and Jim are quiet similar. They both worked at a warehouse, both have dreams to escape their world (Williams wanted to write, so does Tom). Both their fathers weren't present at their childhood (Tom's father left, Williams' wasn't really present at home) and in the Wingfields home the picture of the father lays hanging on the wall, symbolizes a warning rather then a memory- don't come out like him! ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the extent to which language creativity can be identified in everyday interaction in ...

    4 star(s)

    Aalliya: What? Laura: Have you seen the seven dwarfs? Aalliya: They just went to workshop Laura: Oh have a little sit down here..(sits down)..and I've got a little surprise there five apples (shows five fingers) 7 apples 8 apples..one for you and one for the seven dwarfs..now take this one..no you must

  2. Significance of Last Scene in The Glass Menagerie

    She is broken out of her carefully weaved illusions and in anger admits Laura's disability. Her anger and confusion only serves to destroy the only thing she has left, her family. Tom, amidst his feeling of guilt for subjecting Laura to such an ordeal and overwhelming frustration at Amanda, blindly charges through the door.

  1. The Glass menagerie - 'Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is ...

    This fact is also based on Rose, who was schizophrenic and had one of the first prefrontal lobotomies ever performed. The operation was unsuccessful and Rose did not fully recover, spending the rest of her life in a mental institution.

  2. Discuss the statement with reference to the concept of 'sculptural drama' looking specifically at ...

    When we look at it in this respect we can understand and emphasise with Tom, who is working in an institution he absolutely loathes -'I'd rather someone...battered out my brains' to support his family.

  1. How does Tennessee Williams present the character of Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie"?

    Instead of just being a slightly annoying woman, we see that Amanda has had to resort to this as a way of making some extra money for her family. We have seen her bare her soul to Tom stating "I - loved your father...there's so much I my heart that I can't describe to you!"

  2. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    The thing that frustrates Tom the most is the fact that he reduces himself to a slave working at the factory to support his mother and sister, yet his mother says to him that all he thinks of is himself, she says this because he desires to have some freedom in his life (Kirszner and Mandell 1817).

  1. What kind of Play is The Glass Menagerie?

    The same could be said of Hamlet. There we have a character rather like Tom, though the comparison should not be pushed too far. Both are cut off from those around them by the intensity of their own introspection and both consider their fathers as some kind of role model and neither act.

  2. glass menagerie Creative Writing Task

    A completely new life is ahead. [Tom gets ready to aboard] Please forgive me Laura, I will never forget you. Take care of mother. It'll be alright. [As Tom gets on, the bus slowly drives off into the cold night, as a new and thrilling life lies ahead for Tom Wingfield] Notes Symbols: There are many

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