The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

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What is Tom's dual role as narrator and character in "The Glass Menagerie"?

What is Tom's dual role as narrator and character in "The Glass Menagerie"?

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It has been said that this play, one of Tennessee William's best-loved works, is somewhat autobiographical. The character of Laura is based upon Williams' sister, Rose. By making Tom into a character and a narrator, so the narrator comments upon the world of the characters, Williams is able to reveal elements of his own process as a writer (being outside the world of his characters but also inhabiting those to whom he feels closest).

If Tom had been only a character, or only a narrator, the autobiographical association might have been even stronger, drawing emphasis away from the story, which is moving on many levels and which has elements of drama, comedy, and romance. By having Tom embody a character in the play who also comments upon his own life, as well as his relationship to the other characters, the...

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