Examine the effects of economic recession in the drama.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Tom's restlessness with his work and his life is reflective of his own characterization.  Yet, I think that one can see how the effects of the economic recession of the time period impacts Tom.  Tom's state of restlessness can be seen as due, in part, to a lack of connection to his work.  This is reflective of much in way of an economically challenging time period, where a job was more for subsistence than anything related to a vocation or calling.  Tom's restlessness with his being and his willingness to live the emotional life of a transient is reflective of a life evident in an economic recession, where one lives and moves to find work.  There is a sense of emptiness in Tom's life.  This is certainly an intrinsic part to hic character, but it might also reflect the life one leads during an economic recession, where material emptiness helps to influence a spiritual one.  I think that part of the reason why Amanda is so insistent on finding "gentlemen callers" for Laura is to secure a profitable alliance.  The lack of economic opportunities, in general, but in particular for women makes the need to marry into a good economic condition vital.  This might be a motivating factor in Amanda wishing to find a good alliance for Laura.  It might also help to bring out the economic challenges faced in the time period, when a woman could not really enter the workplace because the workplace itself was dominated with men struggling to find work.  In this, one can see another effect of economic recession in the drama.

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The Glass Menagerie

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