The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie book cover
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In The Glass Menagerie what conflicts does Tennessee Williams develop in the first three scenes of the play?

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Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie is a play fraught with conflict; however, Tom's internal conflict of being torn between his desire to fulfill his dreams and his sense of responsibility to his mother and sister is pivotal to the play as it generates external conflicts between Tom and his sister and Tom and his mother. And, while Laura and Amanda come into conflict with Tom, they themselves have internal conflicts, as well.


The tension between Amanda and Tom is introduced early in this scene as Amanda criticizes his table manners and his smoking; Tom responds in disgust.  When Laura offers to clear the table, Amanda tells her to "stay fresh" for any "gentleman callers" who might appear.  This statement reflects Amanda's delusions about Laura as well as illustrating her internal conflict of living in illusions from her past as she reminisces of her having such gentlemen callers in her youth.


In this scene Laura washes and wipes her collection of glass animals, but...

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