The Glass Menagerie

Tom Wingfield's View of Happiness 11th Grade

In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the narrator Tom filters the story through his own memories. This technique causes the characters to be presented in a way that is manipulated through Tom's personal illusions. In completing his objective of finding happiness, Tom comes to the conclusion that it can be achieved only through the path that his father took. This leads to Tom analyzing the actions made by the people around him through a filter. Every happy facial expression or movement is inherently a way to disguise one’s true emotions to Tom. Aside from Tom, the Glass Menagerie does not truly represent who the characters are and so every action is only a representation of Tom’s character development, and of his desires and motives in terms of attaining happiness.

Tom's happiness comes from escaping one’s problems. When he looks at his father he sees a troubled but nevertheless happy man. “I’m like my father. The bastard son of a bastard son! Did you notice how he’s grinning in in the picture there? And he's been absent going on sixteen years” (Williams 64)! Tom feels that he still has a personal relationship with his father despite the fact that he has been absent for most of his life. This desire for a relationship...

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