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Illusion vs. Reality

             People all have dreams that they pursue and want to live them out. However, it becomes problematic when one does not acknowledge and accept his present situations and social boundaries, which can turn one's dream into illusion. In Tennessee Williams's play, The Glass Menagerie, the main character named Amanda has a distorted view of reality becoming blinded of flaws in her family and herself. Her dream is for her children to have a successful and happy future. Unfortunately, their current situation does not easily direct them toward her dream. She creates an illusion that becomes a hiding place, escaping from reality and refusing to accept her miserable unchanging life situation.
             Amanda abandons her present state of misery and lives in her past. She frequently tells Tom and Laura that, "One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain-your mother received-seventeen-gentlemen callers!- (8). She is very proud of her past and cannot seem to let go of the prestige of her glorious youth. Amanda lives in a world of illusions, reliving her past of wealth, beauty, and high social status. Reminiscing the memories of her past is her way of rejecting the fact that she is a miserable, poor, and old woman, abandoned by her husband. Stuck in a small apartment with her children, she finds a comforting hiding place in her mind from reality by expressing her illusion through stories of her past.
             The illusions continue to perpetuate as she looks at herself during her youth. She expects her daughter to be just like herself, being popular and pretty. When Tom tries to explain that Laura is crippled and socialized differently from other girls, Amanda becomes angry and defensive. Amanda refutes back saying, "Don't say crippled! You know that I never allow that word to be used!- (47). This illustrates how Amanda is blinded of Laura's flaws. Although Tom deliberately makes an effort to help her face the reality, Amanda wants to only believe that everything is all right and nothing will stop her daughter from getting a gentleman caller and living a successful life.

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