The Glass Menagerie

Hello. I'm writing an essay with the tittle Reality versus Illusion in "The Glass Menagerie". Will anyone help me and suggest the main objects of this essay ? Thanks. Im looking forward to answers.

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Throughout this play, emerging in every scene and through the actions of every character is the theme of Appearances vs. Reality. Characters believe in a future and a past which are not realistic, and these beliefs affect the decisions they make regarding their relationships with each other. For example, Amanda frequently describes the days of her youth, when she claims she received "seventeen! gentlemen callers!" during one Sunday afternoon. Although she describes these men as if they either are wealthy or have died a tragic/heroic death, the man she married was apparently both unsuccessful and irresponsible. And despite all evidence to the contrary, Amanda seems to believe that Laura, too, will one day be visited by similar gentlemen callers.

Rather than fantasizing about his past, Tom believes that his future holds excitement, if he can only escape his family. Yet he fails to escape completely even though he does leave. In his last monologue, Tom reveals that he is not running toward something but away from his past: "I was pursued by something." And although he travels continually, he fails to find the excitement he longs for, as the "cities swept about me like dead leaves."

Even Jim O'Connor, the most conventional character, continues to believe in unattainable dreams. Although he apparently is talented, he has been unable to make choices that will guarantee him professional success. He refers enthusiastically to his public speaking class, but readers understand that Jim is attributing more significance to this course than it perhaps deserves.

Laura, however, is the character who is most obviously detached from reality. She cannot have normal interactions with other people without becoming ill. Her emotional energy is invested in her collection of glass animals, which may be exotic and delicate but are nevertheless "unreal," especially the unicorn she claims is her favorite. For the unicorn doesn't even represent a realistic animal. Even the nickname Jim once gave her, Blue Roses, is a flower that doesn't exist. By the time the play ends, Laura seems to be more detached from reality rather than able to adjust.

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