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Unlike the other characters, Tom sometimes addresses the audience directly, seeking to provide a more detached explanation and assessment of what has been happening onstage. This duality can frustrate our understanding of Tom, as it is hard to decide whether he is a character whose assessments should be trusted or one who allows his emotions to affect his judgment.
It also shows how the nature of recollection is itself problematic: Even taken as a single character, Tom is full of contradiction. On the one hand, he reads literature, writes poetry, and dreams of escape, adventure, and higher things.
On the other hand, he seems inextricably bound to the squalid, petty world of the Wingfield household. We know that he reads D. Lawrence and follows political developments in Europe, but the content of his intellectual life is otherwise hard to discern.
All we learn is what he thinks about his mother, his sister, and his warehouse job—precisely the things from which he claims he wants to escape.
Even though he clearly cares for them, he is frequently indifferent and even cruel toward them. His speech at the close of the play demonstrates his strong feelings for Laura.
But he cruelly deserts her and Amanda, and not once in the course of the play does he behave kindly or lovingly toward Laura—not even when he knocks down her glass menagerie.
This theory casts an interesting light on certain moments of the play—for example, when Amanda and Tom discuss Laura at the end of Scene Five.The Glass Menagerie: memory and guilt Reading the play "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.
Yochy Shelach. Visit Page. Get to know the characters. Amanda Wingfield. Amanda is the mother of Tom and Laura. She is a strong and dominant woman: life had taught her that only the strong survive. The Glass Menagerie study guide contains a biography of Tennessee Williams, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Amanda Wingfield. He is the narrator of the play and the action of the play is framed by Tom's memory.
Tom loves his mother and sister, but he feels trapped at home. The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a touching play about the lost dreams of a southern family and their struggle to escape reality.
The play is a memory play and therefore very poetic in mood, setting, and dialogue. Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was generally seen to represent Williams' mother, Edwina.
Characters such as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Sebastian in Suddenly, Last Summer were understood to represent Williams himself. The Glass Menagerie is a delicate memory play about family life set in a Depression-era St.
Louis tenement. While rebellious Tom Wingfield dreams of running away from his tedious existence, his stubborn mother Amanda elegizes romantically about her Southern debutante past.
Tennessee Williams' play, "The Glass Menagerie" is the story of a deeply flawed family, consisting of a mother Amanda Wingfield, who has been abandoned by her alcoholic husband, her emotionally.