Irony And Distance In The Glass Menagerie

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In his essay “Irony and Distance in ‘The Glass Menagerie’”, Thomas L. King writes, “…for they are the world that the Wingfields were somehow set apart from, they are the ones who shattered the rainbow.” (King 214) Speaking on how the audience relates to the ending of Tennessee William’s most well-known work, King believes that such an act as that of Tom Wingfield abandoning his family represents the ultimate trick – a truth surrounded by subjective memory that can only be upheld from one point of view. Such choices are what hold a story together. Whether on the page or on the stage, the most important aspect of storytelling involves the irreversible actions of characters which serve as the catalyst to the definitive moments of their lives, …show more content…
Her family starts from a comfortable, familiar point in life that most are all too familiar with, but the reality of their unimportance only becomes understandable once they have been killed off by the Misfit’s henchmen. The lesson to be learned is expressed through the Grandmother’s actions. Regardless of whether or not she meant her final words, she put her own needs ahead of her family, something that had consistently led them to their demise. From a fateful point of view, her decision to bring the cat and her mistaking the location of her old house are two seemingly unimportant details that, in the grand scheme, brought her family to the Misfit. Expressing how such actions exist to help us understand the Grandmother rather than her family, Martha Stephens, in her critique “The Question of Flannery O’Connor”, writes, “The family is shown to be in death just as ordinary and ridiculous as before. With the possible exception of the grandmother, we know them no better.” (Stephens 1188) At the penultimate moment before death, the Grandmother is not reflecting on her family. And while Tom’s decision to leave was the result of his untamable need for independence, the Grandmother’s choices never crossed her mind until being faced with

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