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Absence Of The Father Figure

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 822 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In a play that is very well written by a famous and talented writer, the absence of a father from a middle class family shows a sever effect on the children. Thomas Lanier Williams known as Tennessee Williams was the writer of a play titled The Glass Menagerie. Mr. Williams often saw his parents engaged in violent argument and how it frightened his sister Rose. His father who was a shoe sales man forced him out of college to work for the shoe company, but later in life he returned to college and won an essay contest. Tennessee Decided to become a play writer after watching a production of Henrik Isben’s named Ghosts. In his lifetime he won several awards for his writing including 2 times the Pulitzer Prize. He suffered from deprecation in the last ten years of his life after losing his loved one to cancer. Mr. Williams battled alcohol and prescription drug addiction and ended his life chocking to death on a bottle cap in his New York City residence. In his play the Glass Menagerie he clearly pictured a lower middle class family with a crippled daughter, a mother who normally brags about her glorious days, a father who had left leaving behind not much but a bizarre massage and a brother who resented all of that and want to go and follow his dreams.

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First, the play takes place in the Wingfield’s apartment across an ally from a ball room. It is narrated by Tom who is also the son of Amanda, the mother, and the brother of Laura, the daughter. Amanda is a single mother trying to raise her children under a harsh financial condition. Frequently, she talks about her old days and how she was charming and wanted by too many Gentleman callers. Tom is the son who is obligated to let go of his dreams and work in a warehouse to support his family, but he can’t just forget his passion for adventure, so he relive it by watch movies and imaging himself to be the main character. Laura, Amanda’s daughter, is a very shy young girl who is also crippled. She confines herself to her glass collection which is so fragile to hide away from the real world. Many critics consider her to be the main character of the play because of her ideal role as well as the play name. Jim O’Connor who is Tom’s work mate and used to be Laura’s class mate. He was invited to diner by Tom to be a Gentleman caller to Laura, but he is committed to another person. Mr. Wingfield, which is represented by a Hugh portrait in the room, he is absent and no one knows where he is, and the only thing his family knows about his departure is that he left a massage saying hello and good bye.

Second, the play is a classic about a single mother devoted to her children trying to raise them under a very harsh financial condition remembering her glory days and denying the fact that her daughter is handicapped. Amanda the mother wants the best for her daughter Laura. She wants her to marry a respectable Catholic man who has a good job and not a drunkard. Amanda asked her son Tom to bring a friend from work to be the gentleman caller for her daughter. Tom is son who works in a warehouse to support his mother and sister, he does not only hate the being a warehouse worker he dreams about leaving the house to follow his desire for adventure. Laura who is disabled and lacks self confidence, she hides behind a glass collection from the real world. Laura sees her disability as something that very shameful. She dropped out of college because of her low self steam, and finally a memory of a selfish father who left his family struggling to survive.

Third, the writer used so many techniques which made the play exciting and very attractive to the audience. One of many was the symbolizations in which the writer used an object to reflect on the character’s personality or feeling. In the Glass Menagerie, such methodology was used. Tom used to go out for smoke on the fire escape every time he gets upset of angered by his mother. Although the fire escape was just a place, the writer used to symbolize Tom’s desire to escape and leave this life style behind him. The glass collection itself symbolizes the fragility of Laura.

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Finally, the play is a very well written and structured in which the writer emphasize the role of each family member and their effect on the rest of the family. Thinking about the play, the idea of a mother that is abandoned by her husband to care for her children without much resources is well exploited. The absence of the father had lest undeniable effect on the whole family. The mother had to work hard and take on the role of the father too to raise her children. The daughter lacked self confidence and isolated herself from the outside world. The son was unable to go after his dreams for a while having to support his mother and sister ding what he hated. A portrait of father shows a missing part of that family.


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