Literary Analysis Sample: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Many literary materials are inspired by the need to develop viable solutions that can be used to improve people’s lifestyles. Importantly, playwrights and novelists contribute to activities that seek to change society by provoking the thought process of individuals to move beyond their comfort zone in pursuit of their desired objectives. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams presents a broken family enduring a series of challenges, which have taken a toll on every member. Every individual in the family is undergoing a process that affects his or her interaction with other people in their surroundings. For instance, the family has an absentee father who has only sent one postcard ever since he left home. Amanda’s disability affects his interaction with men because of its impact on her self-esteem. From this realization, Tennessee Williams should have solved the situations affecting Amanda’s family by presenting an opportunity where they could improve their quality of life. 

The Glass Menagerie is a collection of glass animals that Amanda tends to every day. Unlike a real menagerie, Amanda’s glass animal collection appears to be the only thing that gives her hope to face the next day. She dropped out of high school and the business school because of her disability that crippled her self-esteem, especially when interacting with the opposite gender (Williams). At a time when she wanted to get married, Amanda believed that her condition discouraged men from reaching her and initiating contact that could lead to marriage. This portrays Amanda as a character on the brink of giving up because of the limited options that have affected her lifestyle.

Readers anticipate the conclusion to be defined by happy moments where Amanda rises above her disability and finally finds a suitor who loves her. While the plot takes a different approach to meet this expectation, the author’s conclusion fails to offer a way out for Amanda to escape her strings of challenges. Instead, the author introduces Amanda to Jim, her high school crush, who then confides to her that she is engaged after breaking one of her unicorns. While she had expected the arrangement to work, her heart and one of the unicorns is broken, leaving her in a bad state.

Individuals should embrace the decision by Tom to invite Jim to their house so that he could meet his shy sister. The relationship between siblings is the only positive thing in the play that inspires individuals to value their actions because of their impact on other people. However, while Tom thought he was helping Amanda, the author introduces a plot twist that breaks her sister even further because of the discovery that her high school crush is engaged. Coming from a tale of happiness to sadness is likely to expose Amanda to depression because the new revelation has crushed her only hope of being happy.

Tennessee Williams should have solved the situations affecting Amanda’s family by presenting an opportunity where they could improve their quality of life. On many occasions, literary materials solve problems affecting individuals by offering viable approaches that can be used to improve people’s lifestyles. However, The Glass Menagerie is a collection of sad stories that touch the reader’s perspectives towards life because of its inability to solve problems encountered by the characters. When analyzing the decisions made by individuals, people should be cautious about their impact on the outcomes in their surroundings. 

Works Cited

Williams, Tennessee. The glass menagerie. New Directions Publishing, 2011.

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