Essay on the Metamorphosis of Tom in The Glass Menagerie

The Metamorphosis of Tom in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

In Tennessee William’s play, The Glass Menagerie, the character of Tom is both a son and a brother. Tom has also been forced into the role as the man of the house because of his father’s departure. He is very unique and somewhat unpredictable in his words and actions. Tom is selfish, yet caring, and he has a strong need for adventure. Without doubt, Tom is the most round and dynamic character in the play.

Tom’s role in his household is to provide for his sister and mother by working at the shoe warehouse. He basically gives up his life so his family can live. So how can one say that Tom is selfish? The reader has to look further than skin deep. Tom works at the warehouse but he truly despises it, because in scene three he said, “I’d rather somebody picked up a crowbar and batter out my brains than go back mornings.”(Williams 1036).

Also, it seems Tom does not care if he gets fired or not judging by the amount of time that he spends writing poetry at work. Tom does not appreciate what he has or that his family is provided for. Tom also shows a hint of selfishness when he tells Amanda that there is nothing in that house that he can honestly call his own. Tom also goes to the movies or gets drunk almost every night and he knows that Amanda and Laura are worried about him but that changes nothing. He still goes out without thinking of how it affects his mother or sister.

To escape from his slow life while he was at home Tom goes to the movies almost every night. It is at the movies that Tom can drink and somehow live his adventurous life through his imagination and the characters in the movies. The movies only satisfied Tom’s thirst for adve…

….Works Cited

Bloom, Harold Ed. Modern Critical Views: Tennessee Williams. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Fordyce, William. “Tennessee William’s Tom Wingfield” Papers on Language and Literature 34.3 (Summer 1998): 250-272. ProQuest. Jacobs Library, Oglesby, IL.

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Jolemore, Nancy. “Lecture Notes and Study Guide Questions for Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie.” Old Dominion University. 18 January

2000. 29 June 2001. .

Reser, Rob. “A Touch of Glass.” 29 June 2001. .

Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. Literature and The Writing Process. 5th ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice, 1999. 693-734.

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