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

Tom's closing speech in The Glass Menagerie

Extracts from this document...


Tom's closing speech in The Glass Menagerie is very emotional and ironic. However, this monologue is somewhat ambiguous and doesn't implicitly state whether Tom found the adventure he sought. It seems as though he never returned to St. Louis, and spent the remainder of his life wandering from place to place. This is inferred when he says," I didn't go to the moon, I went much further-for time is the longest distance between two places..." Throughout the play, the fire escape has been a symbol of Tom's entrance and exit into both his reality and his dream world. He tells us that his departure marked the last time he "descended the steps of this fire-escape", thus permanently embarking on his journey of solitude into what was once only a part of his dream world. From the statement, "(I) followed, from then on, in my father's footsteps.." the reader can see that Tom acknowledges that he has chosen a path which is very similar to that of his father's. In recognising this fact, Tom also admits that he abandoned his family just like Mr. ...read more.


This torment overshadows any measure of freedom he could have gained as a result of leaving his home. Tom also mentions two elements that are associated with his sister throughout the play. In his speech, he tries to identify things that would remind him of Laura: "Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music, Perhaps it was only a transparent piece of glass.." Laura would always play old records on her victrola, and she lovingly cherished her collection of glass figurines. Wherever he goes, Tom associates glass and music with his sister, and this serves to only bring back haunting memories of the sister he left behind. One must conclude that the escape he so fervently sought now seems to have become his prison. The reader can discern that Tom's torment is at its worst when he is not surrounded by friends or engaging in some activity, both of which distract his thoughts from Laura. Even when he is walking along a street, he cannot help but be reminded of her: " I pass along the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. ...read more.


When Laura blows out the candles, it signifies the end to any hope that she could have a happy life. She and her mother must now fend for themselves. Laura must always live in the shadow of her brother's escape, and she will most likely carry this pain for the rest of her life. It also symbolises Tom's final farewell to her. Essentially, this monologue reveals that Tom's escape has not been as complete or as perfect as he had hoped. While he has escaped the physical limitations of the Wingfield apartment and the restrictions of his job at the warehouse, memories from his past and feelings of regret seem to create an intangible prison for Tom. He has been unable to remove himself from the coffin and leave all the nails untouched, as was his former desire. His statement of "I am more faithful than I intended to be!" alludes to the fact that he is fully cognisant that he has left his family to struggle with the consequences of his departure. The Glass Menagerie ends with Tom's life being exactly opposite to the one he had foreseen when he planned his escape. ...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. A Phenomenon of Theoretical States: Connecting Crane and Rilke to Tennessee Williams' The Glass ...

    This he does; at the end of the play he abandons his mother and sister, hardly an heroic act, fleeing the apartment and St. Louis with all the emotional distress of one whose very survival is threatened. Tom�s memory of Laura is an index of the "something crippled" which Williams

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

    A product of Tom's poetic sub-conscious, the music intensifies the drama, thereby increasing the shock of Jim's revelation that he is already going steady with another woman. Without a doubt, one of the distinctive features of The Glass Menagerie's origins in memory is the incorporation of music in order to heighten drama and convey feelings.

  1. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    It is just one of many such apartments in this lower-class neighborhood. Not one of the Wingfield family members desires to live this apartment. Poverty is what traps them in their humble abode. The escape from this lifestyle, this apartment and these relationships is a significant theme throughout the play.

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

    Here we see Amanda living still in the past, remembering her youth, how her life used to be. But she is also living for the future- by finding her daughter Laura a gentleman caller. She is living out her own life in her daughter- mostly because she is scared Laura

  1. The Day My Life Stopped

    himself, but her mum agreed as she knew Jason well, and she knew that it would have been ok with Jason's parents. It came to four o'clock in the next morning. They had just finished clearing up, they both sat on the couch, Jason pulled out some more alcohol, and

  2. The duality of the ever-dreamy Tom Wingfield.

    Other than these attributions, Amanda can also be seen as a headstrong, gentle and almost wise patronizing mother who cares very much for her own children's welfare and success. Although she may seem terribly pushy at times, tenderness exists in her strong endurance and tireless persistence of nagging to make

  1. To what extent is the glass menagerie about glass? Discuss.

    Think of the same drinking glass. We see his desires and dreams mockingly dancing about like trapped figures wanting to get out. We imagine that if the glass were to break, his dreams could be set free to be. However what would result is broken pieces of shattered glass.

  2. "Brief Encounter" dealt with the issues of sexuality and desire by using a lot ...

    is I fell far more acceptable, in the fact that it happens, and far more people know why they happen, and can understand the reasoning's behind them. This I feel is the key issue here is acceptance, Laura felt that society would turn it's back on her if she kept

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