International Journal of English Research

ISSN: 2455-2186

Vol. 3, Issue 5 (2017)

A Kaleidoscope of Fluctuating Memories: Exploring Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Glass Menagerie

Author(s): Abhik Maiti
Abstract: “Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” - Oscar Wilde
Matthew Arnold once suggested that, “the pursuit of perfection is a pursuit of sweetness and light.” In many ways this is exactly what the characters of The Glass Menagerie seek in the play – perfection. They look for it in their future, as they search for a way to find security and hope. Although they find glimmers of hope throughout the story, each time is it extinguished like the candles at the end of the play. The Oxford English Dictionary states memory as, “to commemorate; to preserve a record or memorial of; to record, mention,” But even though Tom is recollects “that quaint period, the thirties” to commemorate his family and their tragic existence, he does so with the “appearance of truth” and “illusions” that proves how fragile and deceitful memory can be. All the characters are unable to accept and relate to this reality. As a result each of them withdraws into a private world of illusion where they find the comfort and meaning that the real world fails to offer.
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