“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams


“The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams is a book about a family of three, Amanda the mother and her two kids Laura and Tom who are struggling after their father suddenly left them. Which makes one wonder how far a family will go for each other? Some would lie to avoid hurting family member’s feelings, some may convince others to lie to protect another member and some might even hide the way they really feel to not disappoint them.

Children never like seeing the look of disappointment on their parent’s faces, so instead of being honest they rather tell a lie so they get in trouble. For example if they were to get a bad mark on a test instead of showing it to their parents they would pretend to forget it at school or lose it so the parents aren’t disappointed. Laura did the same thing in scene two where her mother found out she was no longer attending Business College and that she had been lying about it for a while. Laura’s reason as to not telling her mother about her dropping out was because she didn’t want to see her disappointed face she compares it to “[The] awful suffering look on your face [is] like the picture of Jesus’ mother in the museum”. (p.15) Meaning Laura lied because she didn’t want to disappoint her mother.

Although in some case is lying really necessary? Even if it were to stop a fight between a family member? After the fight between Tom and his mother the next morning Laura begged Tom to speak to Amanda, even when he didn’t want to stating “[Amanda] not speaking- is that so bad?”(p.28) meaning that he didn’t care if they made up or not but eventually apologized for his sister so he and his mother wouldn’t continue their silent war.

Lying though having good intentions cause others to hide their true self. For example Tom lies to his mother about how he feels living at home. In scene four he even tries to tell her the truth by saying “...There’s so much in my heart that I can’t describe to you!” (p.33) Meaning that he’s hiding the way he feels and is not telling his mother so she won’t be hurt, even though all he really want is more adventure “[which] Adventure is something [he] don’t have much of at work,” in his boring day to day life working at a warehouse, and how he wants to travel like his father which he knows causes he’s mother a lot of pain when she thinks about it.

In life there are times when we have to lie, convince others or even hide the way we feel inside to protect the people we love whether it is family members or friends. I related to Laura while reading the book but thought that she was too forgiving of the mother who didn’t even help her son that was working to support them both. I thought the way the author put the book in play form was interesting, but not a story I would read again.

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