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CHARACTERS ILLUSIONS THROUGHOUT THE GLASS MENAGERIE Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie is about the struggle with the hardships reality throws at the characters In this American memory play produced in 1945 Amanda Wingfield hides from life and lives hers through separate illusions Amanda resides in an apartment in St Louis with her two children Laura and Tom the narrator The play circulates around the Wingfields and Jim who is a gentleman caller In an aside Tom forewarns the readers that the characters setting props and effects are not meant to be real The purposes of these things are rather to serve as metaphors and symbols of reality As the setting is an illusion Amanda also depends heavily on the use of illusions This is very significant to the play because Williams portrayal of the Wingfields and how they perceive reality shows how out of touch they are Amanda survives on account of her illusions which protect her from the painful facts of life allowing her to escape the frenzy of life itself Amanda lives mainly in the past and her memory recalls experiences she cherished while living as a young southern belle The reader is not aware if these reminiscences are genuine or if they are what she would have liked to live She sticks to this delusional past because she is unwilling to face the reality of the present Amanda constantly reminds Tom Laura and the reader references to gentlemen callers and jonquils Nelson 89 Despite its noticeable falsehood Amanda comes to believe all she dreams She wants to live out these unrealistic dreams through the life of her daughter Laura Amanda dresses Laura as she dressed herself in the past as a southern belle which ties her up into her illusions even more bringing her farther away from reality Amandas horribly outdated clothing and mannerisms also underscore her as a foolish old woman impossibly attempting to relive a wasted life Most of Amandas
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