In Scene 7 of The Glass Menagerie, the illusions of the play are finally shattered. Explain how this statement is true.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is much truth in this statement.  The ending of the play reveals most everything to be false.  The idea of "shattering" these myths is a powerful element in the conclusion of the play.  Jim is revealed to be an individual who is less than secure in who he is and his place in the world.  At the same time, Laura's own inflated vision that she had about him was also shattered with his ambivalence about both his feelings towards his life and his feelings.  Amanda feels that there is no way to salvage the relationship with Tom, thinking that the entire evening was a cruel joke.  Tom's distance with the family, able to be repressed throughout the play, could no longer be contained as he leaves, presumably without returning.  In the end, when Laura blows out the candles into darkness, she does so in reflecting the uncertain and unclear nature of the future for the family members.  The ending of the play gives the reader the understanding that there are no more illusions left in which to believe. The clinging to appearances that the family possessed at the start of the play no longer exist at the end of it.

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