Get help from the best in academic writing.

Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams presents us with four characters whose lives seem to consist in avoiding reality more than facing it. Amanda lives her life through her children and clings to her lost youthfulness. Tom retreats into movie theaters and into his dream of joining the merchant seamen and some day becoming a published poet. Laura resorts to her Victrola and collection of glass ornaments to help sustain her world of fantasy. Finally, Jim is only able to find some relief in his glorified old memories. This essay will examine how Amanda, Tom, Laura and Jim attempt to escape from the real world through their dreams.

Amanda was abandoned by her husband and now must take care of her two children, Tom and Laura. Amanda considers Tom unrealistic, daydreaming about becoming a recognized poet rather than staying committed to his present job. Amanda is overwhelmingly confused and perplexed about the future. Worse still, the fact that Laura is crippled worries her even more. Amanda tries to arrange everything for Laura lest she will live paralyzed in the threatening world. Aware of the reality, she enrolls her in a secretarial course in the hope that she would become, if not successful in her career, at least independent. Disappointed by Laura’s inability to cope with the classes in the business school, Amanda tries desperately find her a reliable husband who can provide material and emotional security. But her hopes are unrealistic. Not even having met Jim, the gentleman caller Tom brings home at her mother’s request, Amanda, looking at the little, slipper-shaped moon, asks Laura to make a wish on it for happiness and good fortune to be brought by this gentleman caller, when it is just wishful thinking on her…

… middle of paper …

…nd some relief in his glorified old memories saved by Laura and is overwhelmed by the magic of the American Dream. Like many great plays, The Glass Menagerie transcends time inasmuch as contemporary versions of the four characters abound in the ever-changing modern world. After all, these are the people to whom the play addresses today.

Work Cited

Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. 1945. The Bedford Introduction to Drama. 5th ed. Lee A. Jacobus, ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.

Work Consulted

McHaney, Pearl A. Lecture on The Glass Menagerie. Engl 3860-American Drama. Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. 20 June 2006.

Jackson, Esther Merle. The Broken World of Tennessee Williams. Madison:

Jealousy in Cantor’s Dilemma

Jealousy in Cantor’s Dilemma

The beast hides in the shadows. Its presence is all around us; its existence denied by all. It moves stealthily from one body to the next, peering with its infinite, green eyes into the deepest thoughts of all, a merciless predator seeking out those who least expect its attack. It strikes without a sound, paralyzing its prey. The monster’s bite drives its victims into behaving rashly. It injects a poison strong enough to cause one to distrust one’s best-friend. It causes one to act furtively and always with the worst of motives. This beast is named jealousy, and no one is immune.

Not even scientists, who’s goal is to conquer all in search of real truths, can battle against this obstacle. Carl Djerassi illustrates the susceptibility of research scientists to jealousy in his novel Cantor’s Dilemma. He illustrates, through his fiction, several important issues that fuel jealousy, and he alludes to some of its effects. One of these effects is competition, which combined with jealousy, forms a lethal combination. Furthermore, competition in the world of scientific research has the potential to slow the scientific process.

There are two main contributors to the problem of competition in the scientific community: fame and money. In the novel, Cantor states, “A scientist’s drive, his self-esteem, are really based on a very simple desire: recognition by one’s peers…” Furthermore, the cost of scientific research has risen so dramatically in the last few decades, that even if a scientist has new, brilliant ideas, he/she may not be able to afford to conduct research on it. The combination of these two factors creates an intense sense of competition between scientists, leaving them weak an…

… middle of paper …

…t work. The reputation of the scientific method, in the eyes of the average citizen, would be tarnished by incidents similar to the one in the novel. An outcry from the public could drastically reduce the amount of funding available for research, thus impeding the scientific process.

The figure lurking in the darkness is merely a forerunner of competition. But the smile is wide on its face when it discovers the secrecy and irrationality that its poison has created. The beast pits scientists against one another in a field where huge amounts of knowledge and creativity are needed, amounts that can only be obtained by several minds working together. Although competition is not as important as cancer research, for example, it should be studied. The scientific community needs to work together to combat the one beast that works so hard to tear it apart.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.