The Glass Menagerie

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・1 Sources

Memories can build or destroy an individual’s life

1. People's attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions in life are shaped by their memories. They can make it difficult for a person to socialize and live a normal life if they are not dealt with properly.

2. In the play The Glass Menagerie, Tom is unable to live his life because of his past. Laura dedicates memories to her highly valued fragile glass menagerie, while Amanda shields Tom from reality with her memory (Williams, Tennessee & Tony Kushner 2011)

Until the memory spell is broken, Tom cannot live a normal life.

  1. Laura's unicorn breaks in the living room while she is dancing with Jim.
  2. The breakage of the unicorn represents the end of the spell. Tom finally gets hisfreedom but confesses that he is unable to detach from the memories.

Thesis statement

Memories define the life of an individual.

  1. Good memories cause positivity and openness while bad memories cause a person to isolate from the world.
  2. Amanda tries to use her memories to shield her son from the reality

Memories are not an excuse for leading a normal life.

  1. Although Amanda tries to use memories to shield her son from the reality, her effort does not yield much.
  2. Memories are just a short-lived escape from the real world.

Main point one

A. The symbolism of the glass menagerie

  1. Just as the glass is fragile, memories affect an individual’s emotions making them vulnerable to the surrounding.
  2. Laura uses glass menagerie as a means of escape and fantasy.

B. Inability to face reality could inhibit a person’s progress.

  1. Tom undergoes several setbacks in the play but only manages to solve his problems by facing reality.
  2. Tom feels angered with the fact that he is trapped in his memories and he does not know how to escape.

Main Point Two

A. The role of values and social norms in shaping the life of an individual.

  1. Women in the play are thought to be physically, psychologically and emotionally weak.
  2. Tom is given a higher character and portrayed as daring while his sister is painfully shy.

B. A woman can only thrive through marriage

  1. Jim is offered to have potential in taking care of Laura as a loving husband.
  2. Amanda, Laura’s mother, tries to find a suitor for her daughter and even asks Tom to help her sister find a good husband.


  1. The ending of the story is disappointing because the characters do not realize any emotional or intellectual growth.
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