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Name Professor’s Name Class Date Critical Thinking: The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is a play that revolves around five characters; siblings Tom and Laura Wingfield, their mother Amanda Wingfield, their absentee father Mr Wingfield, and Jim O’Connor, Tom’s colleague at a shoe warehouse and an arranged gentleman caller. The play opens with a soliloquy, with Tom narrating his memories about World War 2 and introduces his family members. His choice of words gives the audience a peak into his majestic and charming mind, the mind of a dreamer and an aspiring poet. Throughout the play, 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, this review aims at exploring failure through two dictionary definitions; failure as lack of success and also as neglect and/or omission of expected or required action. Mr. Wingfield, through flashbacks and narratives, is said to have abandoned his family and consequently his responsibilities as a husband and a father. He is said to have loved his liquor, and when he eventually left for his ‘love of long distances’, he never left an explanation. Due to this abrupt and unexplained leaving, Amanda was left with both bitter and fond memories of her husband. This also left Amanda to face the harsh economic times after The Great Depression alone. She sold magazine subscriptions to make a living and the earnings were hardly enough. The butterfly effect of this was Tom taking up a job that paid poorly, a job that he 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 largely responsible for major decisions Amanda makes for her children. Amanda is portrayed as a genuinely loving mother, who wants the best for her children but makes irrational and extreme decisions which the children find overbearing and smothering. Her failures are many, but most of them unintended. For instance, her lack of success in making a living makes her turn to Tom for help, and Tom is forced take up a job he hates instead of following his dream of being a poet. In the end, Tom realizes his help will probably never be enough, and he leaves.

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