"He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion." What does the quote mean?

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The Glass Menagerie is referred to as a "memory play," in which Tom, the speaker of the quote, is both a character and narrator. He is contrasting himself with the role of a magician, whose job it is to make you believe something false is true. Tom says that he...

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The Glass Menagerie is referred to as a "memory play," in which Tom, the speaker of the quote, is both a character and narrator. He is contrasting himself with the role of a magician, whose job it is to make you believe something false is true. Tom says that he will be doing much the opposite by presenting a highly editorialized and even at some points falsified version of events that contain a core of truth.

This is evidenced by the lighting and stage direction of the play. The characters seem to be almost caricatures of more subtle individuals that may be based in reality. Even the action of the play shows the characters miming the act of eating and doing work. This is all to reinforce that Tom is not a completely disconnected narrator, and that the story that we see on stage is heavily influenced by his bias.

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This line is from the beginning of the play and the "he" Tom refers to is the a magician. A magician gives the audience an illusion that has the appearance of truth but Tom is going to give the truth disguised as an illusion. This means the action of the play is not going to be a completely realistic. Tom intends to take liberties with the lighting and staging. In addition, he is going to be both a character inside the play and the narrator. Finally, Tom reminds the audience that this is a story told in flashback, the actual event having occurred five to ten years before. The truth Tom intends to tell is the truth about his family: his mother, Amanda; his sister, Laura; himself plus the truth about Jim, the gentleman caller.

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