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American Dream Glass Menagerie

  • Date Submitted: 05/17/2014 11:59 AM
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Clarke 1

Lauren Clarke

English II Honors

Ms. Drazba

29 April 2014

Deeper Meaning of Tom’s American Dream

The “Glass Menagerie” a play of memory, looks back and preserves the life of one of the main characters Tom Wingfield. Tom is a man in his mid-twenties who takes care of his mother Amanda and sister Laura, while trying to accomplish the American Dream. The American Dream was extremely important during this time period, because one’s fate and success didn’t rely on their social status but was depended on how hard and how much they worked. The American Dream was an opportunity for many immigrants to be successful, “For the more than 20 million immigrants who came to America in the years between 1870 and 1920, the American Dream was not just a compelling idea but a last chance at survival” (Applebee 821). There were many jobs all across America for people to make money so they were able to support their families, like building bridges, skyscrapers, subways, working in factories and many more. In the “Glass Menagerie”, even though Tom is the only man in the house he focuses on himself, perusing the American dream, having a successful job, and being able to live a life full of happiness and even though he abandons his family, it is questioned if he still is successful.

Clarke 2
Tom is known to be a selfish character because of the decisions he makes throughout this novel and especially the decision he made to abandon his mother and sister at the end of the story. He takes the place of his father since he is the only other
man in the house, and his father abandoned his family, "A blown-up photograph of the father hangs on the wall of the living room, to the left of the archway. It is the face of a very handsome young man in a doughboy's First World War cap. He is gallantly smiling, ineluctably smiling, as if to say "I will be smiling forever." (Williams 58). Tom doesn’t wants a life without his mother so he can take care of just himself...


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