The Glass Menagerie Memory Analysis

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Memory plays the most important role in the The Glass Menagerie, because the figure narrator of the play, Tom Wingfield, tells the story through his own memory. Because the story is told through Tom’s memory, it is therefore non-realistic, sentimental, dimly lighted and takes a poetic licence. What this means is that whilst Tom may omit some details, he may exaggerate other details in accordance with his emotional connection to the memory. However, despite all of this, Tom tells an honest story. He quotes that “memory is seated predominantly in the heart.” Tom re-calls his past, by mentally confronting Amanda, whom he had blamed and dismissed as a young man. As he tells the story, at the same time, he is also trying to lay to rest the thought…show more content…
She clings to her glass menagerie and her Victrola, which suggests that her memories are her only source of comfort. She also had a nostalgic and idealised image of Jim, her high school crush. However, her idealised image of Jim is destroyed when she finds out that he is engaged to another woman, in which she later spiritually breaks up, just like the horn on her glass unicorn, which Jim accidentally broke. Speaking of Jim, memory is also a slight issue for him. Jim likes having Tom at the warehouse because they were both acquainted in high school, and that acquaintance reminds Jim of his glory days. The closing lines in the play relate to Tom’s nostalgic memory of Laura. He says it so that he can be free from his haunting memories of Laura: “I speak to the nearest stranger – anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightening! Blow out your candles, Laura – and so goodbye…”. The closing lines in the play confirms that Tom is unable to suppress his memories, as he has now power or control over them. The candle represents the fact that Tom cannot extinguish the light himself. Just like Tom, the other characters are unable – and unwilling – to forget the
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