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The duality of the ever-dreamy Tom Wingfield.

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Introduction

The duality of the ever-dreamy Tom Wingfield. The faded southern belle who could not face the fact that her prime time is up. The shyly old-fashioned and fragile Laura Wingfield. How could Tennessee Williams daringly put these mixtures of personalities under one roof as a lower-middle class American family who lacked a father figure? All three characters are clearly described as characters who 'manufacture illusions' that, in the end, are finally destroyed by reality; thus how can it be possible for all three to live together as responsible family members? In Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie", it is all about the distortion of reality and the struggle between differentiating reality and appearance. Williams almost unrealistically and literally 'distorted reality' itself as he mixed the impossible Amanda, Tom and Laura Wingfield into one batter of bittersweet yet fragile family dependence and responsibility, whereupon Amanda acts as the second provider of the family and the one who ensures her children's success, Tom being responsible as the father-figure replacement in the family and Laura as the dependent character who is only responsible for minor domestic issues. Amanda Wingfield is a character of utmost complexity. Amanda, as had been explained by Williams himself, "is not paranoiac but her life is paranoia." ...read more.

Middle

I say for your sister because she is young and dependent. (Williams, 66)." To Tennessee Williams, Laura Wingfield is a character whose situation is even graver than Amanda. As a childhood illness had left her crippled, she develops into an emotionally crippled character that is shy, passive as fragile as glass, as if living in her own glass menagerie and too fragile to move herself. Although Laura is a character who does not do much other than stay at home, play old records and collect glass, she is the axis to which the plot turns. Laura Wingfield lives in her own little world, accompanied by old music and her little glass animal figures. As a physically and mentally frail person, she becomes almost secluded and antisocial, as had been described by Amanda herself, "I put her in business college-a dismal failure! Frightened her so it made her sick at the stomach. I took her to the Young People's League at the church. Another fiasco. She spoke to nobody, nobody spoke to her. (Williams, 66)." Laura is correctly described by Jim O'Connor that she is an old fashioned, home girl, judging her with the old notion of 'inferiority complex' whereupon he noticed that Laura is very self-conscious of and low-rates herself. ...read more.

Conclusion

But I get up. Fore sixty-five dollars a month I give up all that I dream of doing and being ever! (Williams, 52)". Is there a thin line between fantasy and reality? It seems that Tennessee Williams do not think so. Amanda, Laura and Tom Wingfield all live in their own little worlds, trying to escape harsh reality by different ways of escapism. But no matter how much they try to escape reality, their responsibilities towards each other never fail to 'weigh them down back to earth.' Amanda Wingfield, a dreamy, deeply flawed but tender mother, is responsible towards her children as the second family provider in order to enhance her daughter's marriage prospects and to keep Tom away from his father's habits. Tom Wingfield, a hardheaded but almost patient son who is responsible as the primary family provider and expected to be responsible towards his family as to find a suitor for his sister. Laura Wingfield, the fragile, rare and ever-peculiar glass unicorn and blue rose, is expected to, like a transparent glass, take on Amanda's colors as the re-creator of her past and as Tom's reason to stay in the household. Their fantasies, it seems, were slowly undermined by their own responsibilities. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Vanessa Budihardja/12-IB/10-09-04/English A1/Mr. Lucas ...read more.

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