Shattered Dreams in "The Glass Menagerie" Book Review by Shaad

Shattered Dreams in "The Glass Menagerie"
An examination of Tennessee Williams play "The Glass Menagerie" in relation to the American dream.
# 128388 | 876 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2009 | BD
Published by on Jul 18, 2010 in Drama and Theater (American)

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This paper aims to show how Tennessee Williams exposes the futility of the American dream in his play "The Glass Menagerie". It looks at how the actions of each and every character in the play is shaped by the dream, and how their personal aspirations relate to it. The paper also points to the central symbolism contained in the play, where the glass menagerie that Laura keeps is symbolizing the American dream, and suggesting the fragility and futility of it.

From the Paper:

"The play bears many resemblances to the Cinderella story, only that the realization of the dream is thwarted. In the essay mentioned above, and regarding the dream, Williams says, "[T]he Cinderella story is our favorite national myth, the cornerstone of the film industry if not of the Democracy itself" (Williams, Essays, 15). Tom mother, Amanda, clings on to the romance of the South. She rejects all modernisms, and is able to do so because she adheres to a simplistic version of the American dream. "Try and you will SUCCEED!" she exhorts Tom when he expresses his dissatisfaction at his dead end job in the shoe store (Williams, Glass, 23). She calculates how much Tom will save if he quits smoking, though it is little. The present only impinges on her in terms of the financial possibilities. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bloom, Harold. Tennessee Williams's the Glass Menagerie. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.
  • Tischler, Nancy M. Tennessee Williams: Rebellious Puritan. New York: Citadel Press, 1961.
  • Williams, Tennessee. Collected Stories: A New Directions Book. Ed. Gore Vidal. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1994.
  • Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. Oxford, UK: Heinemann, 1996.
  • Williams, Tennessee. Where I Live: Selected Essays. Eds. Christine R. Day, Bob Woods. New York: New Directions Publishing, 1978.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

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MLA Format

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