Which aspects of "The Glass Menagerie" are realistic and the most unrealistic?

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most realistic aspect is the dreary tenement building where the Wingfields live. The fire escape leads down to the street where a multitude of other buildings replicate the same atmosphere until going out of sight.

The most unrealistic aspect is the Paradise Dance Hall across the street, where music and laughter and even rainbow reflections from the chandelier cast eerie lights, sounds and shadows upon the Wingfield apartment. Before Jim's visit, Amamda has tried to "spruce it up," but the decor remains modest and "homely" just the same.

There is an implicit analogy between the dancers at the Paradise Dance Hall and the glass menagerie itself, all fragile but creating an "other-worldly" illusion of magic and wonder. Both this scene and the preceding one should be interpreted in light of the economic crisis of the Great Depression and the political one fomenting from the Spanish revolution and subsequent bombing of Guernica.

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The Glass Menagerie

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