Non-Linear References/ Symbolism in the Glass Menagerie

1864 words 8 pages
Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie, is a play that evokes great sympathy and in some cases, empathy for a protagonist who struggles to overcome two opposing forces; his responsibilities and his desires. There are many symbols and non-liner references that contribute to the development of characterization, dramatic tensions and the narrative. This essay will examine in detail, the aspects of the play that contribute to the development of the above mentioned elements.
In Tom's opening addresses, he explains to the audience that the play's fifth character is his absent father –present only in the form of a picture that hangs on the wall. This picture that looms above the dining room table makes the reader visualize the Wingfield
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The allusion to D.H. Lawrence by Williams is indicative of the needs that he himself had. D.H. Lawrence was an author who wrote in a very provocative tone. Much of his work was sexually oriented and evoked a desire for sexuality. In scene four where Tom arrives home at Five o'clock in the morning, one could say that Williams does this to purposely hint that his character does not go out to the movies but somewhere else. With this school of thought and the notion that Williams uses a character to self project, one can assume that in order to escape his overwhelming responsibility and its stresses, Tom is actually engaging in numerous sexual escapades with men. The sensitive concept of homosexuality and sexual exploration are the reason he uses the excuse of going to the movies in his play. For Williams, and hence Tom, these sexual escapades were used as time to be away from the people he "loved to hate" for not allowing him to live his own life. These sexual endeavors were used as a means to escape the pain he was enduring.
The magician's most impressive trick was to escape from a coffin without removing a single nail. Tom's fascination with the magician shows his need for fantasy and escapism. Tom is always dreaming of fantastic places far from St. Louis and the responsibilities he has there. For now he escapes through the illusions offered by the stage magician. He dreams of leaving home, but his