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

Significance of Last Scene in The Glass Menagerie

Extracts from this document...


Significance of Last Scene in The Glass Menagerie The last scene of a play could be seen as the most important scene of all, often featuring the much awaited climax of the story, then plunging down into resolution, the concluding statement. This is true for the William Tenesse's "The Glass Menagerie", a sentimental play depicting the frustration of individuals isolated in their own world of illusions. Composed of scenes from the memories of one of the characters, Tom, "The Glass Menagerie" offers little ongoing action, and the most significant events of the story occur in the last scene. The arrival of Jim, the gentleman caller, is the much awaited event of the play. He is described as "an emissary from a world of reality that we were somehow set apart from ...the long-delayed, but always expected something that we live for." Hence, the Wingfields live in anticipation for his arrival, waiting for a representative from the 'real' world outside to break into their isolated world of illusions and set things into motions. ...read more.


As he takes her into his arms, "a fragile, unearthly prettiness has come out in Laura: she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light". As they dance they accidentally knocks over Laura's glass unicorn and breaks its horn. Jim sees this as a tragedy, but Laura sees this as a newly discovered life for the horse, "I'll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less -freakish! Now he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones that don't have horns." The glass unicorn is clearly a symbol of Laura herself, and by breaking the horn off to make the unicorn feel "less freakish", Jim affects Laura in a similar way, allowing her to momentarily emerge from her world of introversion and illusion. Laura no longer needs assurance that she is now part of this new world, but Jim, driven by his own desire and overconfidence, and kisses her. ...read more.


There is nothing heroic or even positive and challenging in his departure. Tom is just like the other characters in the play, trapped in the ordinary and terrifying situation of struggling to survive in a world that gives them no sensible reason for existence. Clearly the seventh and final scene of "The Glass Menagerie" is the most eventful and important scene of all. Hence the arrival of the long awaited gentleman caller Jim, the introverted young girl is given the chance to emerge from her illusionary world of glass, and the already strained bonds of the family receive the last shattering blow with the departure of Tom. The audience discovers that the "emissary from the outside world" is a state equally illusionary to that of the Wingfield family, and that Tom's search for adventure and self-fulfillment is futile. Through these realizations in this last significant scene, Williams reveals to the audience the frustration of humans trying to find their place in the harsh reality, the struggle to exist in such a world. ...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 ...

    of wall between the front room and dining room areas on the set, displays various images and words, projected from behind, in order to highlight certain motifs and symbols. These images and words are simply creations of Tom's sub-conscious, putting emphasis on important ideas as well as some of his thoughts at the time.

  2. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    and responsible for the tragedy that befell them even though she didn't realize it (The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams Analysis of Major Characters). Laura Wingfield, a romantic, who has a physical defect which causes her to limp slightly, and also fragile emotions which cause her to lose herself in a world made completely of dreams (Bert Cardullo).

  1. The Glass Menagerie.

    Stars such as Greta Garbo and Mickey Mouse (Scene 4, p. 154) presented people with an escape from their dreary day-to-day lives. Tom goes to the movies to experience the "adventures" that his life at home and the warehouse lacks.

  2. Staging implications which make 'The Glass Menagerie'.

    Memory is a strong force that Tom can't escape from. As the story develops we see Tom step over the bounds of a brotherly concern for Laura into a more hopeless relationship. Because the whole play is Tom's memory brought to life on the stage, Tom may be the most important character.

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

    Then we have Amanda giving out a speech. This is a moving and honest speech from her side, which lets us see her in a more positive light. AMANDA: "...I'm not criticizing...I understand your ambitions don't lie in the warehouse...you've had to make sacrifices...there's so many things in my heart I cannot describe to you!

  2. Some critics argue that the Glass Menagerie is a tragedy. How far do you ...

    Tom's world is filled with ideas of escape, mainly through adventure and war, but he is unaware of the horrendous World War that is impending. We fear that we too, longing for adventure and change, may be on the edge of the unknown.

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

    � Up until the appointment of Jim Maxmin in 1991, employees were disempowered. � Up until 1991, there were no standard shop operating systems. � Numerous product lines. � Unsure of identity, particularly in the early 1990s - designing, manufacturing or retail?

  2. The Glass Menagerie is described by its author as "a memory play" Discuss this ...

    This is most noticeable in the similes and metaphors he uses, which is very uncommon. Normally, playwrights only used the stage directions for actions, strictly, but it seems as though Williams also used them to help the actor develop as the character, to understand the character, which adds to the preciseness Williams so much stresses.

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