When Nothing Changes

Zsombor Górán

Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie was written about the idea that everything will be good someday. I expected that they would reach this, but in the end they are still in the same situation .

Most of the characters don’t like the way their life is going, so they have something to distract them from reality. Tom goes to the movies every night because he is not satisfied with his job. He has no choice but to work to provide food for the family. When his mother doesn’t believe that he is going to the movies, he makes up a ridiculous lie because he really has nothing better do. He says, ”I’m going to opium dens! Yes, opium dens, dens of vice and criminals’ hangouts, Mother. I’ve joined the Hogan Gang, I’m a hired assassin, I carry a tommy gun in a violin case! I run a string of cat houses in the Valley! They call me Killer, Killer Wingfield, I’m leading a double-life, a simple, honest warehouse worker by day, by night a dynamic czar of the underworld, Mother.”

Amanda loves to tell stories about the past and fantasize about the days of her youth. She has no hope of living a life like the past but she still thinks about it a lot. A good example is when she is telling her favourite story about the gentleman callers : “One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain, your mother received seventeen! gentlemen callers! Why, sometimes there weren’t chairs enough to accommodate them all.”

Laura just wants to exist in her own world and play with her glass collection and listen to music. She tries to have a future and fails  because she is shy. In addition, she thinks she is crippled, but her mother tries to dispel these thoughts: “Nonsense! Laura, I’ve told you never, never to use that word. Why, you’re not crippled, you just have a little defect – hardly noticeable, even! When people have some slight disadvantage like that, they cultivate other things to make up for it – develop charm – and vivacity and – charm! That’s all you have to do!”

In conclusion, we can see the characters of The Glass Menagerie trying to forget about their life, some successfully, like Laura, some not so much, like Tom. They try not to think of their depressing life because, in the words of T. S. Eliot, “Human kind / Cannot bear very much reality.”