The Glass Managerie Essay Research Paper Tennessee

The Glass Managerie Essay, Research Paper

Tennessee Williams is well known for the use of symbols in her plays. Symbol or symbolism is when an object, a thing, a person, an animal or anything tangible represents an abstract idea. In the play The Glass Managerie, Tennessee successfully uses a variety

of symbols to show the characteristic in each character. She uses many symbols to show the character Tom who is the narrator as well as the main character of the play always want to escape from reality, escape from what he have in front of him. Where does he go to escape to get adventure? The movies. The use of symbols on Tom made the play

more dramatic.

Most symbols in the play of Tom represent Tom’s attitude towards escaping from reality. One of the symbols is the Fir Escape. In scene 1, the play says:

Tom enters, dressed as a merchant sailor, and strolls across

to the fire escape. There be stops and lights a cigarette. He

addresses the audience .

then Tom says:

Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve.

But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you

illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in

the pleasant disguise of illusion.

In the above quote, Tom wants to tell the audience the main characteristic of him in the play is to escape. The last sentence of the above quote, he says “I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion” which means I like to hide the truth and run away from reality. This example shows whenever he think about escaping or wanting to escape, he will always sits beside the fire escape. The symbol fire escape is a good example of

symbolism for Tom, but there is also the portrait of father.

Another example of symbolism is the portrait of father. Tom’s father left the family to travel the world and never came back. In scene 7, Tom says:

I’m like my father. The bastard son of a bastard! Did younotice how he’s grinning in his picture in there? And he’s been absent going on sixteen years!

The above quote shows Tom wants to escape from home. he wants to be like his father, go travel the world and experience adventures and never come back. This example shows Tom wanting to escape by using his father’s portrait and how his father never came home ever since he left. It shows son should be like father and Tom wants to be just like

his father. The portrait is not the only good example, there is also the movies. It’s an important example for Tom’s attitude toward escaping.

The last example is the movies, but not the least important. The movies is an important symbol in the play that shows Tom wanting to escape all the time. In scene he says:

Yes, movies! Look at them–[a wave toward the marvel of

Grand Avenue. All of those glamorous people-having

adventures-hogging it all, gobbling he whole thing up! You

know what happens? People go to the movies instead of


In the above quote, Tom told Jim how he feels about the movies. He says everyone goes to the movies for adventures. This example shows the reason Tom goes to the movies every night is because movies are the adventures for him. It is the place where he escapes from reality. It shows that Tom always wanting to escape from his life by using the movies have all the adventures around him and that’s the place where he goes every night.

The fire escape, the portrait of father, and the movies are all good examples of symbolism of Tom’s escaping attitude in the play The Glass Managerie. The fire escape shows Tom wanting to escape because he always like to sit beside it when he wants to escape. The portrait of father is a good example because Tom wants to escape. The portrait of father is a good example because Tom wants to be just like his father and travels the world. The movies is the most important because Tom goes to the movies every night to find adventures. Tennessee Williams successfully used variety of symbols show the character Tom like to hide the truth and run away from reality.


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