Last Updated 13 Jan 2021

Tennessee Williams and his Greatest Work “The Glass Menagerie”

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Tennessee Williams is of the greatest playwright of the American theatre and also the most important writer in the world of the twentieth century. Like other creative geniuses, he died depressed and alone, never knowing the popularity he would enjoy after the death. He has written many great plays one of his greatest work is "The Glass Menagerie".

The plot, dialogue, setting and characterization were selected based on their potential to represent his experience and identity symbolically, the struggle between flesh and spirit was defined as he felt. When you live trying to meet the expectations of others, when you leave your dreams behind to please the other, or you hide what you really are, you live a confinement similar to that of an animal in captivity. This is what the characters experienced in this play.

William explained innocence and spirituality through the imagery of tension, whereas for carnality he used imagery of flow. "In their own way, the Wingfields were fighting against the things that were threatening their life. Tom's had a fear of working with a job that leads to no future. So,he decided to create his future in poetry, and the results were very rewarding. Amanda was disappointed with her life and attempted to make her daughter more social and popular.

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Laura's had a fear of facing Jim O'Connor That led her to underlying concerns like not being able to indulge herself into society and physical appearance. Laura also represented things related to spirituality. Everything in the play served as a symbol between and what she signifies or thinks. In the discussion, Barnard analyzed each character in turn, explaining the symbols which pertained close to her or him, after that, he showed the interaction of symbols as the play draws towards the end (The-Symbolism-of-Tennessee-William_s-the-Glass-Menagerie-an-Inductive-Approach-Barnard).

Laura admits that she leaves a work session that allows her to get a job, her mother, Amanda, tells Laura should get married. Tom told Amanda that he would go to dinner with Jim O'Connor. Amanda prepares herself extensively, hoping to become Jim's matchmaker. After that, Jim left the house to meet his girlfriend; Amanda accused Tom that he did not tell that her about Jim engagement. Tom explains that after he left his family he was not able left Laura behind, he always felt a connection to her. Each character reaches a different climax in the play.

Tom's choice of not paying the electricity bill and use that money to leave the family looking for adventure revealed his decisive and initial break with the family's difficulties. While, when Jim broke Laura's unicorn horn and announced that he was engaged, the option of her helping him overcome his shyness and doubt was also defeated. When Amanda discovered Jim's engagement, she lost confidence that Laura will reach the social position and popularity that Amanda herself has missed.

Overall, in the play, Tennessee Williams has shown a tremendous work of art which proves that he will remain the most significant American writer and no other writer can reach his mark in theatre plays. The play showed difficulties people have to face which was the reflection of Tennessee's own life experiences and imaginations and how a person can sustain himself in the harshness. The climax was the most exciting part of the play.

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