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The current discourse hereby aims to present a rhetorical analysis of the play, through expounding on the theme, the symbols, as well as the main characters.
There could be more than one theme in the play, as evident from the topics of discussion by the characters. For one, there is a theme on deception and lies. Both Laura and Tom hid some inner secrets from their mother, Amanda, in terms of past, current, and future activities. For instance, it was only after six weeks after dropping from Laura’s typing class, that Amanda discovered the incident. As such, Laura painstakingly deceived her mother into apparently attending daily classes; when in fact, she disclosed that she went to the art museum, to the zoo, or walk around the park (Williams). In addition, Tom has always left after dinner, supposedly to attend movies every night. In truth, he had plans to travel as a seaman and used the money earmarked for payment of electric bills to pay for membership dues for joining The Union Merchant Seamen organization.
In addition, another theme in the play was the feeling of incarceration and the apparent need to escape. This theme was exemplified in terms of the physical entrapment felt by Tom for being relied upon to support both Amanda and Laura. As such, through making an excuse every night as viewing the movies as a means of escape, Tom actually planned to eventually leave to pursue the same course that their father took. Concurrently, from the point of view of Laura, there is also a persistent feeling of incarceration due to her physical infirmity. As such, her outlet was expressed through the glass menagerie, the glass animals’ collection that seem to be the perfect epitome of her being: fragile, entrapped, isolated, delicate, and detached.
The obvious symbol is the glass menagerie. It symbolized the traits that were above mentioned: fragile, entrapped, isolated, delicate, and detached. Traits that were
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(“Instruction of The Glass Menagerie(it depends on the wirtter) Essay”, n.d.)
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(Instruction of The Glass Menagerie(it Depends on the Wirtter) Essay)
“Instruction of The Glass Menagerie(it Depends on the Wirtter) Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1646545-instruction-of-the-glass-menagerieit-depends-on-the-wirtter.
A. Laura is just another part of her glass figurine collection. B. She is the most compassionate one in the family. II: Tom Wingfield’s illusionary world. A. Tom is seemingly capable of functioning in the real world. B. His family means more to him than he himself realizes.
The author of the paper states that in this play, the author has used themes and symbols to bring out the escape mechanism employed by all characters in order to evade the reality of their lives. Though the play brings out weighty themes/subjects like failures of the family structure and failures of fathers, escapism remains a major theme in the play.
Williams narrates the story through employing multiple layers of meaning to the words, settings, characters and situations. For example, the glass menagerie, the urge of the protagonist to forget her sister, and the blowing out of the candles at the end of the play all employ a deeper layer of meaning. Williams employed the use of symbolism to introduce themes, characters, morals and values, and then to link them all together.
We know that he hates his mother for her interference in his ways and for her lack of understanding of his plight. But Tom the narrator is far wiser and mature. He has greater perspectives on the troubled lives of the Wing fields because he is removed in time and space.
Considering such, it is interesting to study the characterizations exposed in the play entitled “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams because the three main characters reflect common personalities. They are like a collection of glasses that are fragile but still have to be strong enough in order to survive the cruelties of life.
From this research, it is clear that Tom’s guilt follows him wherever he goes, Guilt for leaving his sister behind, without any support. His conscience instead of his mother reprimands him now. Conscience is something that cannot be deserted. No matter how much we advance, human emotions won’t evolve but remain the same.
The mother, Amanda is so caught up with her past that she failed to live in the present. In most of her conversations with her children, she would take pride in herself by telling them that she was one of the most beautiful damsels of Blue Mountain. She said that she knows how to entertain her numerous gentlemen callers.
ical machinations of the other characters indeed make the drama a “menagerie” of cruelty and dysfunction, Laura displays an almost unreal, pure compassion towards the other characters. It is a testament to Williams’s skill as a playwright that she does not appear
What Tom does when he cannot take the criticism anymore is classical escape (Williams, 1944). He leaves to smoke instead. This is designed to help Tom escape from outside phenomena that are irritating him.
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