NameProfessor’s NameClass DateCritical Thinking: The Glass MenagerieThe Glass Menagerie is a play that revolves around five characters; siblings Tom andLaura Wingfield, their mother Amanda Wingfield, their absentee father Mr Wingfield, andJim O’Connor, Tom’s colleague at a shoe warehouse and an arranged gentleman caller. Theplay opens with a soliloquy, with Tom narrating his memories about World War 2 andintroduces his family members. His choice of words gives the audience a peak into hismajestic and charming mind, the mind of a dreamer and an aspiring poet. Throughout theplay, characters’ hopes, dreams and mannerisms collide as much as their respective past,present and future lives do. Although there are many themes established in the play, thisreview aims at exploring failure through two dictionary definitions; failure as lack of successand also as neglect and/or omission of expected or required action. Mr. Wingfield, through flashbacks and narratives, is said to haveabandoned his family and consequently his responsibilities as a husband and a father. He issaid to have loved his liquor, and when he eventually left for his ‘love of long distances’, henever left an explanation. Due to this abrupt and unexplained leaving, Amanda was left withboth bitter and fond memories of her husband. This also left Amanda to face the harsh economic times after The GreatDepression alone. She sold magazine subscriptions to make a living and the earnings werehardly enough. The butterfly effect of this was Tom taking up a job that paid poorly, a job thathe hated, to sustain his mother and sister who is crippled and bashful. Without even knowing,
Mr. Wingfield abandoning his family set motion the happenings of the play and is largelyresponsible for major decisions Amanda makes for her children. Amanda is portrayed as a genuinely loving mother, who wants the bestfor her children but makes irrational and extreme decisions which the children findoverbearing and smothering. Her failures are many, but most of them unintended. Forinstance, her lack of success in making a living makes her turn to Tom for help, and Tom isforced take up a job he hates instead of following his dream of being a poet. In the end, Tomrealizes his help will probably never be enough, and he leaves.