Desperation in The Glass Menagerie Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 771 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A 26 year-old woman kneels on the floor, childlike, playing with glass figurines upon a living room table. Too plagued by her own humility, Laura contemplates only one future for herself; seclusion from the outside world where bad encounters prevail the desire for good experiences. A lack of positive growth for Laura, along with the rest of her family, is the pitfall for Tennessee Williams where he pressurizes kindred desperation in The Glass Menagerie only to produce hopelessness as the ultimate outcome.

Expressing the turmoil in the life he sees before him, Tom curses "How lucky dead people are!" (1.3.34). The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, portrays a dysfunctional family succumbing to the recurring destiny of desperation and remorse. Amanda, the mother of two adult children, desperately tries to prod her children into seeking a better future. She pushes her son Tom to the point that he plans to escape his mother's overbearing presence. His older sister, Laura, is so withdrawn by the embarrassment of a crippling disability that she is not fit to enter society. From this, her mother decides to find a beau for Laura in hopes to marry her. She cajoles Tom into bringing a suitor home for dinner from the factory where he already feels the enslavement of his employment. The result is Jim, charming and ambitious, who sees Laura for who she is: a shy, introverted girl withdrawn in her own adolescent world. He attempts to shock her into glimpsing reality through a kiss that ultimately backfires as Laura, being enamored by her savior, is soon heartbroken to find that Jim is actually engaged to a girl named Betty. The play concludes with all characters reflecting the epitome of desperation: Laura in her mother's clutc...

... middle of paper ...

...34) I felt I could never repeat this same phrase to my own children without remembering the disdain I imagined in Tom's voice. Another interesting factor was that of Tom as narrator. This tactic provided another avenue to explore Tom's personality. Amanda's character inadvertently offered some interest as well. Her disposition inspires disdain in the reader and, in the end, this indicates an effective character. This, with Tom's interaction, carried the story.

A scenario wherein Laura rises to her feet and courageously vows to attain some sense of fulfillment in her life coupled with Tom's ultimate acceptance of Jim's advice for direction would have imparted a more optimistic and satisfying conclusion to this work. Unfortunately, the reality is that the reader is left unfulfilled after enduring a play that ends in a mood even more desperate than when it began.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Free Glass Menagerie Essays: Laura’s Missed Opportunity - Laura's Missed Opportunity in The Glass Menagerie "The Glass Menagerie" is a play about intense human emotions; frustration, desperation, sadness, anger, shyness, and regret. Perhaps the most intense scene in the play is when a gentleman caller,  Jim O'Connor, finally does come. All of their futures hang in the balance during this scene. Laura is actually drawn out of her shyness with someone besides her family, and she actually begins to feel good about herself. If Jim had not been engaged to someone else the outcome of the play may have been different....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays] 826 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Importance of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie Essay - The Importance of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie     Tom Wingfield is the narrator and a major character in Tennessee William’s timeless play, The Glass Menagerie. Through the eyes of Tom, the viewer gets a glance into the life of his family in the pre-war depression era; his mother, a Southern belle desperately clinging to the past; his sister, a woman too fragile to function in society; and himself, a struggling, young poet working at a warehouse to pay the bills. Williams has managed to create a momentous play using a combination of different elements, including symbolism....   [tags: Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams]
:: 5 Works Cited
1610 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie - Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie       Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie gives readers a look into a truly dysfunctional family.  At first it could seem as if their lives are anything but normal, but Amanda's "impulse to preserve her single-parent family seems as familiar as the morning newspaper" (Presley 53).  The Wingfield's are a typical family just struggling to get by.  Their problems, however, stem from their inability to effectively communicate with each other.  Instead of talking out their differences, they resort to desperate acts.  The desperation that the Wingfields embrace has led them to create illusions in their minds and in turn become deceptive.  Aman...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
3150 words
(9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Powerful Symbols and Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie - Powerful Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie       Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie is a classic among classics for a number of reasons. The narrator, Tom Wingfield, gives the reader an inside look into the lives of a common family living in the pre-war depression era. The members of this family experience a great deal, and their lives are made much more vivid and meaningful through Williams' use of symbolism. Three well-crafted symbols are the fire escape, which provides hope and an escape to the outside world and from it; the glass menagerie, which is a metaphor for Laura's fragility and uniqueness; and rainbows, which symbolize unrealized hopes and aspirations....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1590 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on the Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie - The Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie     In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the characters exhibit a state of delusion that originates from their dissatisfaction with their lives. Tom seeks adventure in the movies. Amanda reminisces often about her days as a Southern Belle. Laura sits in a dream world with her glass collection, and Jim basks in the praises of his high school glory. In their respective ways, they demonstrate their restlessness. The quotation from Thoreau, "The mass of men lead lives of the quiet desperation," applies to the characters in that they are all unhappy, but take no action to improve their situation in any significant way....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1092 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Essay - Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie, is a play that evokes great sympathy and in some cases, empathy for a protagonist who struggles to overcome two opposing forces; his responsibilities and his desires. There are many symbols and non-liner references that contribute to the development of characterization, dramatic tensions and the narrative. This essay will examine in detail, the aspects of the play that contribute to the development of the above mentioned elements. In Tom's opening addresses, he explains to the audience that the play's fifth character is his absent father –present only in the form of a picture that hangs on the wall....   [tags: Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie] 1821 words
(5.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Glass Menagerie Essay - The play the Glass Menagerie supports the theme of illusions. A menagerie, a zoo, refers to a group of inhuman creatures. Since the creatures are glass, they are very fragile and not real. The title specifically refers to Laura’s collection of glass animals mainly horses. To escape the harshness of reality, Laura spends hours playing with the menagerie; this is an imaginary world for her. It is not only Laura, it is all of the Wingfields, they are all fragile enough to break easily. They burn with the slow and impeccable fires of human desperation....   [tags: essays research papers] 389 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Escaping Reality in "The Glass Menagerie" - In Tennessee Williams's play, The Glass Menagerie, he reflects upon the economic status and desperation of an American family living in St. Louis during the 1930s. Williams portrays three characters: Amanda Wingfield, the disappointed mother; Tom, the narrator and trapped son; and Laura, the crippled daughter. Williams compares the Wingfield apartment to "one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units..." a reminder to each character of the harsh reality of their life (epilogue.1972)....   [tags: American Literature] 598 words
(1.7 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Tennessee Williams and His Message in "The Glass Menagerie" Essay - The Glass Menagerie is an eposidic play written by Tennesse Williams reflecting the economic status and desperation of the American people in the 30s.He portrays three different characters going through these hardships of the real world,and choosing different ways to escape it.Amanada,the mother,escapes to the memories of the youth;Tom watches the movies to provide him with the adventure he lacks in his life;and laura runs to her glass menagerie. In the first scene,Tennessee gives a physical desciption of the setting.It is the Wingfields appartement,hive like,cellular,automatism,all these adjectives mirror the pressure under which all these characters live in....   [tags: American Literature] 681 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Glass Menagerie - The Glass Menagerie In The Glass Menagerie there are many main symbols these are stage props, stage lighting and stage sounds. In regard to stage props the main ones are the glass menagerie, the fire escape and Mr. Wingfield’s picture. Also in terms of stage lighting the main symbols are the candles, spotlight and the moonlight. And finally the main symbols for stage sounds are the Glass menagerie music, paradise dance hall music (PDH) and Laura’s Victorola. Tennessee Williams generally uses symbolism in the play to deepen our understanding of characters and to emphasis the play’s themes....   [tags: Drama] 1804 words
(5.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]