The Glass Menagerie1 Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 783 words and 4 pages.

The Glass Menagerie1

Everyone has their own world in which they indulge themselves in whether it is real or
just a fantasy. In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, everyone in the play
experiences their own little world, and the shock it is to be thrown from it. Tom
supports his family despite his unhappiness of his world. He tries to please Amanda by
being the sole supporter, but only gets rewarded by Amanda's constant nagging and
suspicion. Eventually Tom finds himself more like his father as he seeks adventure in the
movies and hangs out on the fire escape he avoids suffocation, and desperately seeks the
life he always desired; the life of adventure.

By hanging out on the fire escape, Tom finds a temporary safe haven from Amanda. With
Amanda nagging Tom about every minute action, like mastication, Tom needed to find
somewhere to escape. Perhaps, even more, the fire escape shows various things about Tom's
personality. Since Amanda and Laura have their illusionary worlds inside, Tom can easily
escape these worlds by going out on the firescape. He does not desire to be part of an
imaginary world, which only proves to be the downfall of Amanda and Laura. He realizes
that the world is not what Amanda has made it seem inside the house. Also, during his
reflections on the firescape he is not really separating himself from the imaginary world
because that metal frame is still anchored to the apartment wall. This shows that no
matter how hard Tom tries to escape he will always be 'bounded' to the apartment. His
emotional attachments to Laura would permantly keep him there no matter what adventure he
had chose to seek out.

With such a dull and stressful life, Tom was always looking for adventure like his father.
Although it is only referred to a couple of times, the portrait of Tom's father is one of
the mose important symbols representing Tom. In the play, the portriat is a consant
reminder to Amanda of the past she once knew and cherished. A long time ago, Amanda's
husband abandoned her and her children becaouse of his unhappy home life. Tom, like his
father, felt that his home life was suppressing his true desires for adventure. It became
unseemingly impossible for Tom to enjoy himself with Amanda's nagging. At every possible
moment Tom would speak of some adventure, something grander he could be experiencing.
Eventually using the money for the electric bill tom paid dues to the Union of Merchant
Seamen. That organization was his savor from suffocation and a ticket to the life of

Malvoli the Magician was an act that Tom would often see when he went to the movies every
night. His coffin trick is a symbol of Tom's suffocating life. Both Malvoli and Tom face
life-threatening situations. In the trick, Malvoli faces death by suffocation if he does
not successfully escape the coffin. Tom faces death by emotional and spiritual
suffocation if he does not find away out of the house. Also, the coffin itself symbolizes
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