The play opens with Tom saying the play as a memory of his past with all the play-cation taking place in his head. The movements in his head are therefore sentimental, emotional and dramatic, not realistic. The play fits as a reminiscence of the past; the past haunts all characters in The Glass Menagerie. Tom creates a memory and feels trapped by memory. The previous prevents Tom from living his life. Something holds him and compels him to return to mind. Amanda shield’s Tom from reality using her reminiscence while Laura dedicates memories that are much viewed to be her fragile glass menagerie (Williams, Tennessee & Tony Kushner 2011). At last, the glass unicorn breaks ending the spell. With the spell broken, Tom gains his life outside the memories of Wingfield’s.
The symbolism in the play Glass Menagerie is evidently important and shown where Tennessee Williams gives the play a name after himself. Glass is a fragile material and represent fragility. Glass can also be considered beautiful since it is a decorative item. Menagerie serves variety since it is a collection. Laura uses glass menagerie as a means of escape and fantasy. She is also seen to use it as a scorn on Tom. Tom stands as the narrator in the play of The Glass Menagerie. In addition, Tom undergoes many personal setbacks and personality changes all through the play. One might question sympathies for Tom as he shifts back and forth (Williams 2011). “I know I seem dreamy, but inside — well, I’m boiling! Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is and what I am doing! Whatever that means, I know it doesn’t mean shoes– except as something to wear on a traveler’s feet!” [62; sec.3]. Tom feels angered with the fact that he is trapped in his memories and he does not know how to escape. Things are not working for him as he expects. He hates the kind of life he is living.
The play reflects some of the roles, values and social norms of its time. In the game, personality and behavior of the characters are influenced by gender. Many women including Laura seems helpless. A woman is retiring, afraid and physically challenged. The other is identified to be psychologically unable. She refuses to handle her circumstances. Tom is given a higher character. He is presented as the family’s breadwinner though he has a limited ability to do so. Jim is offered to have potential in taking care of Laura as a loving husband. Laura tells Jim,” You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don’t plan for it!” [45; sec 2]. Laura laments to Jim, and she tries to express her emissions by giving her loving husband, advice (Tennessee). On the other hand, Jim finds the sense in what Laura says. He finally considers his wife, and he is seen to change and works harder to make Laura happy.
In conclusion, at the end of The Glass Menagerie Play, it somewhat does not satisfy because it ends without resolving the characters’ situations. It is evident that there is no evidence of intellectual or emotional growth within the characters. The characters’ life circumstances have not escalated to better their well-being. Laura’s gives a statement that “Glass breaks so easily. No matter how careful you are.” [86; sec 5]. It is evident that at last menagerie glass breaks. The spell ends setting Tom free. Amanda does not live any better life like he expected even with the spell she places on his brother Tom.
Williams, Tennessee, and Tony Kushner. The glass menagerie. New Directions Publishing, 2011.