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See through the menagerie to the author

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See Through the Menagerie to the Author Most people have had an experience with a dysfunctional home or at least has a friend with one. Sadly broken homes have never been uncommon. The Wingfeilds are one of these families with an unfavorable home life. The classic play, The Glass Menagerie, is what is known as a memory play, and is taken from the memories of one of the main characters, Tom Wingfeild. Including Tom the play consists of four characters which are his mother, Amanda, his sister, Laura, and a gentlemen caller that appears in the final two scenes. He lives with his mother and sister in a small St. Louis apartment. Their father left, as Tom explained it, a “ long time ago” because he was “ a man who fell in love with long distances, ” leaving Tom to provide for his family. He spends all of his spare time at the theater or writing poetry all the while dreaming of the adventures his father may be having, and someday he could be too. He decided to wait to leave his life when they could survive without him. This goal would have the best chance of happening if Laura met a gentlemen caller or retained a job, and neither of these options had a good chance of happening. The mother, Amanda, is relentless finding a man for her daughter, which has never turned out well. It has not worked out primarily because whenever Laura is in a social situation she is always forced to retreat into her own little cosmos. The glass menagerie placed in the family’s living room is ware Laura likes to stare at the figurines while in her pure world. After realizing that trying to find a man was not working Amanda decides to send Laura off to business collage so she can at least make something of herself. That plan soon failed as well due to her crippling shyness and was found spending her days drifting around the neighborhood not wanting to go back. Part of the reason for this shyness is because she is slightly disabled. The disability is nothing but a brace on her leg but it has made her very self-conscious. One day Amanda asks Tom to find a nice boy from the warehouse, where he works, to introduce to his sister. Tom brings home the gentleman caller, Jim, who is the final character that appears in the final two scenes. Jim was mentioned before the thought of his arrival, by Laura saying he was the only boy she ever liked throughout high school but it didn’t matter because he had a girlfriend. Although the main reason Jim was invited was to meet Laura, when he came to dinner it turns out that he was unaware the Tom even had a sister. Laura, feeling pressured once again to be social, started to not feel well and decided lay on the couch through all of dinner. Soon Jim was told to keep Laura company in the living room while the others cleaned. At first Laura was nervous being around her old crush and then one memory led to the next and they ended up having a good time together. Then tragedy struck when he told her the news that he was engaged. Her heart was broken as was one of her glass figurines, both damages done by Jim. Soon after Jim leaves Tom follows, neither one ever to return. This abandonment is done because in Toms mind if he does not leave now he never will, leaving his battered family alone and feeble. In the end Tom tries to move on from his family and yet he cannot let go of the memory of his dear sister, Laura. This play is an admirable peace of literature that greatly resembles the author, Tennessee Williams’, own life and may even be based on it. Tennessee Williams is known to model his characters from people he has known in his life. The brace Laura wares on her leg represents Williams’ sister’s disabilities and how much he cared for her. It’s fairly common for playwrights to be inspired by experiences that come from their own life, but Tennessee Williams takes it to a whole other level. Easily looking at his Wikipedia page is enough to show the considerable similarities between his life and his play. “ The Glass Menagerie reflects Williams’s own life so much that it could be mistaken as pages from his autobiography. “(Zhao Juan) Laura’s old nickname, “ Blue-Roses, ” comes directly from Williams’ sister Rose. Tom Wingfeild and Tennessee Williams even have the same initials, T. W. “ Tom is representative of Williams himself, who had to go to work at a shoe Factory to support the family because the father was always on the road. “(Zhao Juan) Colossal similarities such as this are found all throughout this play. It talks about how Tom sat around in the warehouse where he worked writing poetry, of which I am sure Williams spent a lot of his time doing to get to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time. Another similarity is Williams’ father leaving, putting him in charge of the family because in that time women had very little power and authority. “ In the Glass Menagerie, Amanda and Laura Wingfeild depend on Tom for their very survival” (Michael Dischiavi) There are many different versions of the play and in every version you can see the resemblance between Tom and Williams. In one of the many versions Tom Discreetly suggests that he, like Williams, is a homosexual. “ In Gorden Edelstein’s production, for instance, we acutely see Tom writing The Glass Menagerie in a seedy New Orleans hotel room. “(Terry Teachout)

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