Symbolic illustration of Laura's hands holding a glass unicorn

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams
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What are three incidents that caused significant change in Tom throughout The Glass Menagerie?

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There are specific moments that help to serve as catalysts for Tom's changes in the play.  Yet, there is a general current that causes him to change, in general.  For example, the reality of Tom's father having left the family is something looming in Tom's psyche.  He cannot shake the reality that his father left.  It is not that Tom seeks to be the same or different as his father, but his father's actions are omnipresent in Tom's frame of reference.  In the end, this helps to cause Tom to see abandonment as a course of action to be taken.  The constant bickering with Amanda helps to drive him away.  Tom is seeking a life that is one where definition is not clear.  This fluidity is not helped with the dominating and intensity of Amanda.  The moment where Tom does not use the money to pay the electricity bill might also be an instant where Tom demonstrates his change.  In not paying for the lights, Tom makes a definite statement that his loyalty might lie elsewhere and is a moment from which there is no turning back.  Tom's thoughts and surmising about leaving are brought into reality with an absolute action that demarcated a line that had been crossed.

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