Mind Map by michell_huang, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by michell_huang about 6 years ago


Brainstorm for: “In many plays a character has a misconception of himself or his world. Destroying or perpetuating this illusion contributes to a central theme of the play.” Choose a major character in The Glass Menagerie to whom this statement applies, and write an essay in which you consider what the character’s illusion is and how the destruction or perpetuation of the illusion develops a theme of the play.

Resource summary

  1. Paradise Dance Hall
    1. Couples dancing and kissing--"compensation for lives that massed like mine without any change or adventure. (p.39)
      1. PERPETUATED: Memory as a defence against the harshness of reality
    2. Memory as illusion
      1. ESCAPE from reality/Denial of reality
        1. "Being a memory is sentimental, it is not realistic"
          1. Use of screen device as a stylised presentation of the inner world
            1. Use of light to show the hazy nature of memory
              1. Use of music
                1. Tom motions for music
                  1. Music seemingly to come from within the play and from outside the play
                    1. Division between reality and fiction/memory blurred
                      1. "Ave Maria" only heard by the audience, functions like the screen device
                        1. "The Glass Menagerie" music heard only by the audience, not the characters
                        2. "The World is Waiting for the Sunshine"--song playing from the Paradise Dance Hall is heard by Tom and audience
                      2. Writing, movies, drunken stupor
                        1. Memories of Blue Mountain
                          1. Escape->Freedom
                            1. Emotional freedom, financial freedom, the freedom to pursue ones dreams/desires
                              1. Emotional freedom /escape is not possible
                                1. Escape as an illusion
                          2. "Illusion that has the appearance of truth"
                            1. "Truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion"
                            2. Memory/Illusion as a crippling force that keeps one from living in the present or accepting reality
                              1. The last scene
                                1. Abandonment
                                  1. Amanda's memory of Mr Wingfield
                                    1. Tom's memory of his father
                                      1. Follows his father's footsteps: abandons family and goes with the Merchant Marine Naval Company
                                        1. "...I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something"
                                          1. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!"
                                            1. "I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger--Anything that can blow your candles out!"
                                              1. act of blowing candles out
                                                1. Symbolic of rupturing the past, release from pain of the past
                                                  1. Memory for Tennessee Williams/Tom Wingfield is not an illusion but a means to work through the guilt that he feels over his sister.
                                                    1. Release from pain is only possible through memory
                                                      1. Misconception of the world
                                    2. Amanda and Laura recapitulating their memories within Tom's memory
                                      1. Amanda's idealized past
                                        1. PERPETUATED: push Laura to receive gentleman caller
                                          1. DESTROYED: face reality that it will become her "unrealized wish for her daughter's future happiness?
                                            1. Irony: the perpetuation of the misconception hastens one towards the destruction of the illusion
                                              1. tension between reality and illusion because illusion is wrongly conceived as a means to escape from the pain of life
                                      2. Malvolio the Magician: "the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick"
                                        1. "got out of the coffin without removing one nail"
                                          1. Nails as family ties, love, responsibilities, MEMORY
                                        2. Art as a form of illusion as a means for catharsis
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