The Glass Menagerie - Character Analysis of Tom Wingfield

Topics: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, Family Pages: 3 (1179 words) Published: March 14, 2007
A brother, a son, a friend, Tom Wingfield the narrator and a character in the play, The Glass Menagerie, which is based on Toms memory of his many experiences living with his mum and sister during the Great Depression. As this is a recollection, the play has a hard time presenting the events objectively as the mind, most often times distort the facts of events. Tom is an aspiring poet, which works at a shoe warehouse to support the family to which is gets frustrated with due to the numbing routine of his job and escapes from it through movies, literature, and alcohol and thus many of his thoughts and actions might seems crude and disrespectful. On the other hand, when Tom resumes the role of narrator he seeks to provide a more detached explanation and assessment of what has been happening onstage, to which then the real and sometimes juvenile emotions he possesses when taking part in the plays action is subdued. This complicates Tom as a character, on the whole, because the audience would be confused at who Tom really is, is he a character that should be trusted or is he one that allows his emotions to affect his judgement.

Tom has two realities in which he constantly switches to and from, one is of the squalid, petty world of the Wingfield household and the slums of the shoe factory, whereas the other is filled with literature, movies writing poetry and dreams of escape, adventure, and higher things. He reads D. H. Lawrence which Amanda takes away criticizing the book and its author. Even though he clearly cares for them, he is frequently indifferent and even cruel toward his family. (QUOTE) It is evident at the end of the play that he has strong feelings towards his sister which reside within him but during the course of the play, contradictory actions were displayed. He cruelly deserts Laura 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. His job to him is...

Cited: he Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
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