Symbolic illustration of Laura's hands holding a glass unicorn

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams

Start Free Trial

How are the illusions in Scene 7 of The Glass Menagerie finally shattered?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There is much truth in this statement.  The ending of the play reveals most everything to be false.  The idea of "shattering" these myths is a powerful element in the conclusion of the play.  Jim is revealed to be an individual who is less than secure in who he is and his place in the world.  At the same time, Laura's own inflated vision that she had about him was also shattered with his ambivalence about both his feelings towards his life and his feelings.  Amanda feels that there is no way to salvage the relationship with Tom, thinking that the entire evening was a cruel joke.  Tom's distance with the family, able to be repressed throughout the play, could no longer be contained as he leaves, presumably without returning.  In the end, when Laura blows out the candles into darkness, she does so in reflecting the uncertain and unclear nature of the future for the family members.  The ending of the play gives the reader the understanding that there are no more illusions left in which to believe. The clinging to appearances that the family possessed at the start of the play no longer exist at the end of it.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial