Goodman Brown used to be spiritual and friendly man until a “dream” showed him the ways of evil in the town of Salem. He now resides in his house, scared of the outside world that he was shown. In many ways, this can tie into the modern world today. Whether it’s Americans living in fear of terrorism, or a town that might be filled with evil psychotics, it can be agreed that fear is a dark theme to be taken on. Hawthorne delivers a fearsome and terrifying tale that shows the outside world is not just gingerbread houses and football. “Fear doesn ‘t shut you down; it wakes you up” (Veronica Roth). Goodman Brown’s life forever changed the moment he left the house that night. His Faith desperately tried pulling him back into the safe atonement of his home, but Goodman Brown refused. His Faith could not keep him from going out into the real world, for the world was waiting for him. He knew he had to take this journey, whether or not he knew what was coming or not. What he got was a wake-up call to the real world. The world lives in fear. Hawthorne’s short story tells the tale of a man who is only now opening his eyes for the first time, just as the world
Free Glass Menagerie Essays: Parallels to Williams’ Life and Symbolism
The Glass Menagerie: Parallels to Williams’ Life and Use of Symbolism
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a touching play about the lost dreams of a southern family and their struggle to escape reality. The play is a memory play and therefore very poetic in mood, setting, and dialogue. Tom Wingfield serves as the narrator as well as a character in the play. Tom lives with his Southern belle mother, Amanda, and his painfully shy sister, Laura. The action of the play revolves around Amanda’s search to find Laura a “gentleman caller. The Glass Menagerie’s plot closely mirrors actual events in the author’s life. Because Williams related so well to the characters and situations, he was able to beautifully portray the play’s theme through his creative use of symbolism.
The Glass Menagerie reflects Williams’s own life so much that it could be mistaken as pages from his autobiography. The characters and situations of the play are much like those found in the small St. Louis apartment where Williams spent part of his life. Williams himself can be seen in the character Tom. Both worked in a shoe factory and wrote poetry to escape the depressing reality of their lives, and both eventually ended up leaving. One not so obvious character is Mr. Wingfield, who is the absent father seen only by the looming picture hanging in the Wingfield’s apartment. Tom and Williams both had fathers who were, as Tom says, “in love with long distances.” Amanda, an overbearing mother who cannot let go of her youth in the Mississippi Delta and her “seventeen gentleman callers” is much like Williams own mother, Edwina. Both Amanda and Edwina were not sensitive to their children’s feelings. In their attempts to push their children to a better future, they pushed them away. The model for Laura was Williams’ introverted sister, Rose. According to Contemporary Authors “the memory of Rose appears in some character, situation, symbol, or motif in almost every work after 1938.” Edwina, like Amanda, tried to find a gentleman caller for Rose. Both situations ended with a touching confrontation with the caller and an eventual heartbreak
Tennessee Williams’s brilliant use of symbols adds life to the play. The title itself, The Glass Menagerie, reveals one of the most important symbols. Laura’s collection of glass animals represents her fragile state. When Jim, the gentleman caller, breaks the horn off her favorite unicorn, this represents Laura’s break from her unique innocence.