There are many similarities and differences amongst the characters from The Glass Menagerie and Ethan Frome.
In The Glass Menagerie, Tom's actions act upon the similarities and differences to Ethan from Ethan Frome.
In Ethan Frome, Zeena's character and personality acts upon the similarities and differences to Amanda from The Glass .
Even though both novels have similar and different points, each work tells the reader about dreams being unfulfilled.
B-1 (Similarity) Ethan Frome and Tom Wingfield were both on a route to escape their obligations. In the beginning of scene four in The Glass Menagerie, Tom states how the coffin in the magic show acts as a symbol of his own life situation. He is trapped within his household and cannot fulfill his dreams of adventure. "But the wonderfullest trick of all was the coffin trick. We nailed him into a coffin and he got out of the coffin without removing one nailYou know it don't take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed-up coffin, Laura. But who in hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?" (Page 27, Williams) As for Ethan, his responsibility and duty of caring for his wife reflect on the actions he has with Mattie. His obligation prevented him from following his dreams of passion for Mattie." He knew that most young men made nothing at all of giving a pretty girl a kiss, and he remembered that the night before, when he had put his arm about Mattie, she had not resisted.Now, in the warm lamplit room, with all its ancient implications of conformity and order, she seemed infinitely farther away from him and more unapproachable." (Page 50, Wharton).
Both characters differ in that Tom is obligated to his sister, Laura, and Ethan is obligated to his wife, Zeena.
Amanda had always told Tom that if he were ever to leave, he would've needed to make sure that Laura was doing okay. Because of his obligation towards Laura, Tom couldn't relieve the guilt he had for abandoning his sister after he left his household.