The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Elaborate on the concept of the American dream in The Glass Menagerie.

Expert Answers info

Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,468 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

The essential concept of the American Dream touches the lives of many characters in The Glass Menagerie. The idea that the opportunity to achieve one's aspirations is within reach of all Americans is, Tennessee Williams suggests, more of a myth than a reality.

Though Amanda Wingfield believes that her son and daughter can rise in society and become self-supporting and successful, her thinking is delusive. Laura is too psychologically and physically frail to become independent. Tom Wingfield does not buy into the idea that becoming a successful businessman will be proof of a successful life; he is an artist who wants to pursue his passion for writing, which is unlikely to bring the kind of success associated with the American Dream.

Another aspect of the American Dream is having a close and loving family. The Wingfields' relationships, however, are dysfunctional. The father left the family years before, and Tom resents the responsibilities that his mother tries to foist upon him. Laura is...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 746 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write5,648 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial