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English 10 research paper

English 10 research paper - The Glass Menagerie Research...

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The Glass Menagerie- Research Paper Vagueness, guilt, and isolation haunt the characters in the play, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, as they have difficulty accepting reality and breaking free from their own little worlds. The Glass Menagerie is a semi-autobiography as William uses the main character Tom Wingfield to portray himself, connecting his life story to his play. The main character’s name Tom was derived from Williams’ real name, Thomas. William’s mentally ill sister Rose is mentioned as “Blue Roses” in the play as well. As explained in The Glass Menagerie, his father’s occupation was a traveling salesman, but he fell in love with long distances and left his family. In 1919, the family moved to Saint Louis where Williams spent his young manhood and Saint Louis is the setting of the play which shows evidence that the play is a semi-autobiography. Left with his physically and mentally challenged sister and neurotic mother, Williams writes his play about their life story from his point of view and his audience has the opportunity to get a glimpse of what he had to go through and how he was feeling, through the aspects of Tom’s consciousness in The Glass Menagerie. Through Tom’s perspective, the life of his family in the pre-war depression era is shown; his mother Amanda, a Southern belle desperately grasping onto the past; his sister, a young woman too vulnerably delicate to perform and live in society; and Tom himself, a struggling, young poet working at a warehouse to pay the bills. The three characters Amanda, Laura, and Tom Wingfield all faced the obstacle of accepting reality and trying to be free from their own world of illusions. The main source of income was from the father, but his abandonment left Tom to reluctantly work at a shoe warehouse and the mother, Amanda, to sell magazine subscriptions over the phone. This historical background displays the declination of wealth as Tom gives up all that he has ever
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dreamt of just to earn sixty five dollars a month and as Amanda struggles to persuade her customers to buy the products. The lack of economic fortune limits their social life which leaves them in a physical entrapment. Their mother Amanda lives in her own world based upon her past. Unlike her children, she is partially in the real world as she has values from her Southern family and has a desire for a high social status and financial success. Amanda is a faded Southern belle, who was raised by a Southern family with traditional upbringing. She does not have any marketable skills because she was brought up as a lady. As a result, when her husband left the family and everything in her life fell apart, she had a nostalgic yearning. She was lost in a dream world and had a difficult time adjusting to her new social status. She tries take on the “nontraditional role of breadwinner” (Tischler, 29) by selling magazine subscriptions to women in the DAR and nags
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