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Tom Wingfield Tennessee Williams play The Glass Menagerie is about a familys struggle to survive the trials and tribulations of life in the early nineteen hundreds The Wingfield family is faced with many tough times which include Lauras inability to attract a gentleman caller Toms mischievous behavior and Mr Wingfields departure from the home Tennessee Williams created the character Tom to act as an inside voice for the audience He acts as the narrator central character and stage manager Toms different roles in the play are essential to the understanding of the story line and theme Toms quest for an escape passage out of the life he is living is evident through out Tennessee Williams use of imagery and symbolism in The Glass Menagerie Mr Wingfield left his family behind as he went off to seek a better life Tom often makes jokes about his fathers prior job at the telephone company and tells the audience that he fell in love with long distancesWilliams 695 This is his attempt to ease the pain of abandonment by turning it into something humorous At one point in the story Tom is talking about a magician he went to see and how he got out of a nailed coffin without removing a nail You know it dont take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin Laura But who in hell ever got out himself out of one without removing one nailWilliams 705 Almost as an answer his fathers picture lights up showing the giant portrait of him grinning This symbolizes the house as a coffin and his fathers successful exit from it Its almost like a light bulb going off in someones head It is inevitable that the thing that Tom resents most in his father is exactly what Tom himself will carry o ut in the end He also escapes from his coffin but unlike the magician he removes
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