Production Plant, Equipment And Resources
In the glass fibre composite plants, workers are required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by OH&S to ensure their safety and the safety of people around them. They are required to always wear safety glasses, Organic Vapor Respirator, body suit and gloves when working with a resin gun or handling chemicals. The glasses protect the worker from any chemicals, vapours and their eyes from any hazards. The Organic Vapor Respirator will protect them from any fumes, dust, vapours and gases by filtering the bad air using cartridges of granulated charcoal, these cartridges need to be changed according to the manual, and thus providing good air to the worker to breath in. 2 pairs of gloves are worn, one outer rubber pair to protect against glass and resin, while the cotton pair for extra comfort and to absorb perspiration that the worker may have. The body suit and gloves which are taped tight to the wrist are worn to prevent resin exposure and to protect against spills, splashes and aerosols.
In addition to protecting the worker in a glass composite plant, they use exhaust fans to extract overspray from the resin gun, hence providing a safer environment for the worker by leaving them with cleaner air then if an exhaust fan wasn’t used. In the laminating process, when the first layer and chop waving is applied, an airless spray gun is used. Using an airless spray gun allows for less waste as there is less overspray compared to a regular spray gun. The resin and the catalyst are mixed within the gun and then hydraulically atomised without atomising the air, thus reducing the solvent consumption. The airless spray gun will also provide a uniform application and also reduce styrene emissions, thus improving the working environments. The thickness of the laminae is measured using a comb gauge that has varying tooth length, each tooth is calibrated on a gradient. When the comb gauge is pushed into the wet laminae, the worker can read the thickness. Workers then use wedges and compress air the bonnet is split from the mould. To speed up the curing process after demoulding, the fiberglass composites can be baked in a big commercial ‘oven’ at 70 degrees Celsius for 2 hours. In the production of catamaran hulls, vacuum bagging is used to produce high quality products with high intricacy. Peel ply, which speeds up the sanding process or it can ensure excellent bonding of the fiberglass composite by giving off a textured surface when it is peeled off the fiberglass composite. A perforated plastic film is then added, which gives a good internal surface finish. Perforations allow the excess resin to moved though and be soaked up by the bleeder fabric which after debagging is stripped of and thrown away, thus eliminating the surplus resin. The bleeder fabric also acts to even disperse the vacuum evenly across the job.
There are various tools and method used to cut fiberglass composites. Fiberglass composites are more abrasive in nature due to all the different layers of various materials and can cause regular cutting tools to wear out at a much faster rate then cutting wood or any other material, for this reason is why high-speed steel (HSS), carbide or diamond-coated blade with a sharp edge attached to a hacksaw as well as a handsaw would need to be used. HSS, which is the least costly and has the shortest lifespan out of the 3 cutting choices. a diamond-coated blade on the other hand is the most suitable option out of the three as it has the highest wear resistance however all these tools tend to wear down and shrink in diameter. The fiberglass is secured on a vibration-free bed. When these tools begin to become dull (loose sharpness), it catches onto the fibres, pulling and unwinding fibres from the part instead of cutting them. When cutting fiberglass, a coolant like water can be used when necessary to keep the temperature of the cutting tool edge under control, so it does not degrade the composite by damaging the resin or the cutting blade. A robotic waterjet may be also used. It is a big robotic with a waterjet and it easily automates the cutting process. It works by pumping water through an orifice at an extremely high pressure of up to 90,000 PSI. Using such an ultra-high pressure with a small opening allows the water to reach speeds of up to 900m/sec, allowing it to cut fiberglass effortlessly while keeping the material cool and dry. The water can also be flowing in a loop, so the water can be reused again and again, saving costs and water.
Drilling into composite fibres uses similar process except it is drilling instead of cutting. A diamond drill bit must be used to drill the hole due to the composite’s abrasive nature. The drilling must be at a slow and steady rate or the composite will heat up and damage just like if you were to cut it. The commonality between cutting and drilling is that they both use lubrication to reduce heat transfer onto the tip or the blade when drilling or cutting to vastly improve the tip life. Using the lubricant, most of the dust from the drilling doesn’t become airborne, the water will act as a collector for the dust building up a pile of dust around the hole drilled. There are different methods of lubrication including the hose method, clay dam and pan drilling. The hose method uses a simple water hose which is placed near the drilling hole and turned on ever so slightly, just proving enough water to fill the hole up. This method of lubrication needs the use of the ‘pumping’ technique, where the drill is raised several times during the drilling process to let the water flow inside the hole to lubricate the tip of the drill bit.
Fiberglass filler, short hair and long hair is used to repair damages to fiberglass or cars. For long hair fiberglass filler, it is harder, stronger and thicker than conventional body filler. However, this makes the filler harder to sand to make it level, which is why its recommended to only apply a small amount of fiberglass filler. The advantage to using fiberglass filler compared to regular filler is because of its waterproof properties, it doesn’t absorb moisture like conventional body filler which causes corrosion and rust. The short hair fiberglass filler is best used for fiberglass repairs.
The Criticism and Bashing of the Pessimistic View on Life
A good majority of the time you can find me walking through the halls with a face like this … It’s not that I’m upset or judging the people around me … it’s my thinking face! What assignments do I have due tomorrow? Did I finish all of my homework? Do I have enough time in my day… to not workout? I have a lot of stuff to think about, so you can imagine how annoying it is when my train of thought is interrupted. “Cheer up, grumpy!” First off, I wasn’t grumpy, but I’m getting there. Second, even if I was grumpy, I am not a suggestion box and fake smiling won’t get my English homework done. But that’s what we’re told, right? That keeping a positive attitude all of the time allows for us to make more friends, leads to raises and promotions in our careers, and improves our overall health, reducing the risk of stroke. While there may be research to support all of these claims, the reality of it is, looking at the glass half full rather than half empty does nothing to fill up your glass.
Now I’m not saying that optimism is bad, but society has placed such a stigma on negativity and pessimism. We’re guilted into feeling bad … for feeling bad. To keep ourselves from being labeled “Debbie Downers” or pessimists, we often choose to silence our opinions. We’re too negative about negativity, but luckily, there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. First, we’ll look past the grumpy exterior to see pessimism for what it truly is; second, we’ll define our frown lines as we discover how detrimental even the nicest of fake smiles can be.
Negativity has gotten such a bad wrap that people out rightly deny the fact that they even have negative thoughts. B. Cade Massey, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Management says, “It’s gotten to the point where people really feel pressure to think and talk in an optimistic way.”
Pessimism is severely misunderstood. To be a pessimist is, thanks to Websters, to be a person with “an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome.”
Like instead of pretending everything is okay, a pessimist would let their group of friends know that that relaxing lake that they want to go to this weekend … yeah … Leeches. Of course, it sucks being a Debbie Downer that has to ruin plans, but you know what also sucks? Leeches. That’s the beauty of pessimism. It allows us to look at situations in a way that sheds light on possible mishaps, allowing for the proper course of action to be taken to either prevent or deal with a negative situation.
So, why is it that we frown on those who see the glass half-empty? Well, we can place some blame for this stigma on Martin Seligman’s theory of learned optimism. Since the 1970s this University of Pennsylvania professor was considered to be the father of positive psychology. For decades, Seligman advocated for the use of optimism to combat unpleasant circumstances, emotions, or occurrences, ultimately shaping the way we view optimism and pessimism today. But recently Seligman’s theories have come under fire, and Seligman wrote in his latest book, Flourish, saying, “I actually detest the word happiness … The idea that optimism is always good is a caricature. It misses realism, it misses appropriateness, it misses the importance of negative emotion.” It seems as though the father of positive psychology has become a bit less positive these days … perhaps a signal for us to rethink the extent to which we value optimism. Overly optimistic environments can be extremely counterproductive and have their fair share of negative repercussions. And while a positive environment is vital to the success of any group, what happens when things get too nice? Cups of coffee get made and smiles are exchanged, but underneath that facade of niceness is probably some hidden tension, feedback and criticism that remain unacknowledged or unheard by people who could probably benefit from your words of – albeit negative – wisdom. Science correspondent for NPR, Shankar Vedantam, explains that “Social scientists call this sort of behavior information aversion, or the ostrich effect (based on the old myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they’re scared).” And just as you’d expect, this turns out to be the worst way to escape predators.
It’s a strategy that isn’t only ineffective at escaping physical predators, but predators of the mind as well. On March 11, 2012, Sergeant Robert Bales of the U.S. Army slipped away one evening, and went to a small village in the Taliban stronghold of the Kandahar Province. It was there, between the mud-walled homes that Bales gunned down and murdered 16 Afghan civilians. Bales’ story is not just one of the horrors of war, but one that sheds light on the horrors of false positivity and the pressure we put on people to pretend everything’s okay. You see, learned optimism theories, like Dr. Seligman’s, heavily influence the psychological culture of those in the armed services, like Sergeant Bales. Soldiers feel pressure to be strong, so they put up a tough and positive front, fabricating personas that push soldiers to “fake good” until they fall apart. Doctors blamed this mentality for Bales’ actions explaining that “soldiers … deny stress and trauma, and false bravado is actually encouraged, under the banner of ‘resilience’”.
Clearly, not even the worst psychological illness is an excuse for Bales’ horrific actions, but the blame for this tragedy does not fall on Bales alone. His story is just one example of how detrimental our tendency to promote these strong and positive facades can be. Why is it that on average, a woman will leave an abusive relationship 7 times before she leaves for good? Why is it that 50% of soldiers suffering from PTSD don’t report it? Why is it that suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 15 to 24? Because, “Cheer up grumpy, people change.” Because “Cheer up grumpy, be army strong.” Because “Cheer up grumpy, you’ll get over it.” When we avoid issues or topics because they’re unsettling or we’re hoping for a better tomorrow we do nothing to make those realities any less real.
So, I’m sorry my face isn’t more approachable. But, I’m thinking. I’m thinking that fake smiling and pretending to be happy does a bigger disservice to both of us. I mean, I’m also thinking that yes, people who excessively complain are just annoying, I don’t need to know for the fifth time how much you hate Chemistry. But as annoying as pessimists may sometimes be, fellow pessimist, Voltaire once argued that “Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable”
So “cheer up grumpy,” we all find ourselves in situations that are less than ideal, but sometimes it’s okay for the glass to be half empty – just as long as you try to fill it up.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: a Critical Review
The Glass Castle
According to anthropologist and cross-culture researcher, Edward T. Hall, “Communication is culture and culture is communication.” Hall believed a person could only communicate with other people when that individual understood his or her culture. However, in today’s society people seldom recognize the fact that our sense of self is shaped by the culture in which we have been reared (Adler 47).
The relationship between communication and culture is very complex and intimate. Based on the Merriam Webster dictionary, culture is defined as “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. In a sense, it is not so much that individuals set out to create a culture when they interact in relationships, groups, organizations, or societies, but rather cultures are a natural by-product of social interaction. Therefore, one can say culture is created, shaped, transmitted, and learned through communication and communication practices are largely created, shaped, and transmitted by culture.
Before discussing “The Glass Castle: A Memoir,” by Jeannette Walls, it is important to understand the implications of this communication and culture relationship. It will be necessary to understand that self-concept is a relatively stable set of perceptions which individuals hold about themselves, while self-esteem has to do with evaluations of self-worth and can be defined as “being proud of oneself or evaluating one’s attributes highly” (Wylie 127). Some of the characteristics of the self are a result of inherited personality traits. In addition, the self-concept is created through messages from significant others, reflected appraisal, and through social comparison with reference groups. The self-concept is subjective and “incorporates all that you think and feel about yourself” (Roberts 22). Other factors that affect the self-concept are culture and gender. One’s self-concept, as well as the self-concepts of others can be changed through self-fulfilling prophecies.
Likewise, an important issue in interpersonal communication is self-disclosure, defined as “the process of revealing oneself to others” (Derlega 137). The social penetration about the self that is intentionally directed toward others. The social penetration model and the Johari Window are tools for describing our self-disclosure with others. Communicators disclose personal information for a variety of reasons and benefits: catharsis, reciprocity, self-clarification, self-validation, identity management, relationship maintenance and enhancement, and social influence. On the other hand, the risks of self-disclosure include: the possibility of rejection, making a negative impression, a decline in relational satisfaction, a loss of influence, and hurting another person. Nonetheless, the four alternatives to self-disclosure are silence, lying, equivocating, and hinting, these ethical alternatives depend on the speaker’s motives and the effects of the deception.
With that being said, as I inform the reader from a critical perspective of “The Glass Castle: A Memoir,” by Jeannette Walls, it will be vital to continue to follow the belief that communication shapes culture and culture shapes communication. As I critique the book based upon the terms and concepts we discussed throughout the tenure of the semester it is important to keep the concepts of culture, class, and communication in mind. In addition, as I mention the several issues covered in the memoir, such as mental illness, poverty, family communication, self-esteem, self-concept, and perception it is critical to keep family culture in mind.
In the memoir, Jeannette portrays the culture of her dysfunctional family and her difficulties growing up through the way she communicates. Although according to the Social Science Research Council, “from whatever angle the study of childhood and parenting is approached certain problems inevitably arise” (Gelles 58).
Throughout “The Glass Castle: A Memoir,” Jeannette is faced with numerous barriers in her life, yet she never complains because she thinks along the lines that “the person we are is also derived from the particular cultural and historical contexts we find ourselves in” (Stevens 22). Despite the many obstacles set forth by her parents during her childhood, Jeannette develops into a successful woman later in life. One of these obstacles is that Jeannette must cope with is the carelessness of her mother, Rose Mary, and the destructive nature of her father, Rex. Subsequently, Jeannette uses plot, characterizations, and conflicts to influence the way she communicates with the reader.
After reading Jeannette’s memoir, the patterns of communication in the Walls family become clear. It became very transparent that there were many repetitive factors that shaped the Walls family’s lives. These factors changed the way I interpreted the memoir. Unlike anything I can relate to, I tried to have empathy rather than sympathy because “one must not make the error of believing that poverty is simply an accident or unfortunate consequence of the ‘way things are’” (Benson 252).
“We live in challenging times” (Smith 3) and Jeannette’s life is no different as the Walls family is constantly moving from place to place, struggling to make enough money, and faced with numerous accounts of sexual abuse, parental alcoholism, evidence of mental illness, and poverty throughout their childhood.
Often, “the disturbance that upsets the balance of a family occurs within the family system itself. The presence of an alcoholic, for example, produces change in the behavior patterns of the other family members. The focus of the family becomes the alcoholism. The presence of other types of compulsive behavior can similarly affect families. A family member experiencing a chronic illness or a mental health problem can also throw a family out of balance. Such unbalanced families do not function well; they are dysfunctional” (Dysfunctional).
Based on the article from the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in “The Glass Castle: A Memoir,” Jeannette mentions several cases of sexual abuse during both her and her sibling’s childhood. She communicates with the reader about her own experience with Billy Deel, a stranger, and Stanley, as well as her brother’s experience with Erma.
The first assault occurs when Jeannette is playing hide-and-seek along the tracks with some of the neighborhood kids. “I found the perfect hiding place, a small tool shed behind a clump of sagebrush that no one had hid before, But just as the kid who was [It] was finishing counting, the door opened and someone else tried to get in. It was Billy Deel. He hadn’t even been playing with us.” (Walls 85). However, after hissing and telling Billy that there was no room, he crawled inside and arranged his legs so that they were pressed up against Jeannette’s. Then as the two children heard the muffled shouts of the other kids being chased by the boy that was looking for them, Billy ‘smushed’ his face up against Jeannette’s then grabbed her hair and made her head bend sideways so he could stick his tongue in her mouth. Eventually, Jeannette bit Billy’s ear to stop him, Billy punched Jeannette in the face, and the other kids came running into the shed after hearing the ruckus. Afterward Jeannette was reluctant to tell her father because she had a feeling it would cause problems.
The second assault Jeannette describes was when she was almost ten years old. “I was awakened by someone running his hands over my private parts. At first it was confusing. Lori and I slept in the same bed, and I thought maybe she was moving in her sleep. I groggily pushed the hand away.” (Walls 103). Shortly after the stranger said, “I just want to play a game with you” (103). The next day, when her Dad came home from work the children told their father what happened and “he said he was going to kill that lowlife sonofabitch” (103). Although, just like the first instance, no serious action was taken to find the pervert or prevent it from happening again.
The third offense took place while the Walls siblings were under the supervision of their Father’s alcoholic mother, Erma. She told Brian that he needed his pants hemmed and demanded him into their grandfather’s bedroom. According to Jeannette, “she could hear her brother weakly protesting, so she went into the bedroom and saw Erma kneeling on the floor in front of Brian, grabbing at the crotch of his pants, squeezing and kneading while mumbling to herself and telling Brian to hold still, goddammit. Brian, his cheeks wet with tears, was holding his hands protectively between his legs” (146). Likewise, when the children told their father of the assault he responded by first blaming Brian calling him a ‘pussy’ and saying “Brian’s a man, he can take it. I don’t want to hear another word of this” (148). Then after their father left, the children began speculating if Erma had ever done to their father what she did to Brian.
The last assault mentioned by Walls was in an experience of her own when nobody else was around. “I felt Stanley’s hand creeping onto my thigh. I looked at him, but he was staring at the Hee Haw Honeys so intently that I couldn’t be sure he was doing it on purpose, so I knocked his hand away without saying anything. A few minutes later, the hand came creeping back. I looked down and saw that Uncle Stanley’s pants were unzipped and he was playing with himself.” Although Walls felt like hitting Stanley, she was afraid she would get in trouble the way Lori did after punching Erma, so she hurried to her Mom, who just said, “Oh, you’re probably imagining it” (184).
Jeannette then replied, “‘He groped me! And he’s wanking off!’ Mom cocked her head to the side and looked concerned ‘Poor Stanley’ she said, He’s so lonely.’ ‘But it was gross!’ Mom asked if I was okay. I shrugged and nodded. ‘Well there you go’ she said. She said sexual assault was a crime of perception. ‘If you don’t think you’re hurt, then you aren’t she said ‘So many women make such a big deal out of these things. But you’re stronger than that” (184).
Consequently, based on the examples above, Jeannette’s descriptions of her parent’s responses clearly influence the way she communicates with the reader. In addition, her parent’s patterns of communication when it comes to sexual abuse are very odd because her parents believe that the sexual abuse toward their children is an act of violence only when it is inflicted by a nonrelative. Therefore, I disagree with her parents beliefs because in my opinion this leads me to the idea that both parents may have been victims of sexual abuse while they were children and thus they dismiss it from being a serious matter.
In relation, after reading the story of the Walls family I believe Jeannette certainly did not have the easiest life growing up, but she may have had one of the most interesting lives. In whole, I enjoyed the book because the experiences Jeannette and her family went through make for a very exciting read. The experiences are out of the ordinary and do not represent how a typical family would live.
Jeannette was born into a rather odd family which influenced the way she communicates with the reader because her parents were not the most cautious of her well-being. Her parents raised their children completely different than I was raised and made several assertions I did not agree with. Her parents believed their kids should be able to take care of themselves and that too much parental intervention would lead kids into becoming too dependent. Therefore, Jeannette and her siblings were constantly in dangerous situations since their supervision was limited. For example, Jeannette writes that her earliest memory was being on fire. She was cooking hot dogs over a stove and caught herself on fire when her mother thought that it was a good idea to let her three year old daughter cook hotdogs over an open flame. Luckily she was not injured, other than a few burns and hospitalization, until her father came in and told her, “we are going to check her out, Rex Walls-style” (Walls 14).
In conclusion, throughout “The Glass Castle: A Memoir,” I realize that Jeannette and her siblings must leave their parents in order for their lives to get any better. The children eventually start to comprehend that their parents are holding them down with their ridiculous lifestyle. Ultimately it is the way the members of the Walls family lived their lives is not only eccentric and different and influences the way Jeanette communicates with the reader.
The Huawei P Smart
The Huawei P Smart is a piece of an influx of telephones that appear to be like those discharged a half year sooner yet have a vast (or long) screen. It’s likewise fundamentally the same as the Honor 9 Lite, yet has an aluminum back rather than a glass one. It doesn’t have a ultra-high spec camera or an executioner chipset, yet is a quality telephone sold at the correct cost. You’ll spare a considerable measure of cash over a 2-year contract with a Huawei P Smart.
See all Huawei P Smart arrangements
- Huawei has figured out how to mix the correct level of specs with an eye-getting sticker price, which makes the P Smart a luring spending purchase.
- Huawei P Smart cost and accessibility
- Current cost: £143.99 (around $190, AU$250)
- Discharge date: December 2017
The Huawei P Smart initially propelled as Vodafone selective in the UK, however its accessibility has since augmented and you can lift it up for a clean £143.99 (around $190, AU$250) SIM free. Contrasted with other Vodafone gadgets at the value, this makes the Huawei P Smart an incredible arrangement. Contending picks are the Huawei P8 Lite and Vodafone Smart N8. The Huawei P Smart is superior to both. Looking more extensive, different choices incorporate the Samsung Galaxy J5, an obviously lesser telephone in a few regards. The models we’d suggest considering too incorporate the Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite.
A decent outline
The Huawei P Smart is a moderately minimal effort telephone, one that contends with models like the Moto G5S Plus and Honor 9 Lite. Its most vital element is a 18:9 angle proportion screen, which leaves less clear outskirt above and beneath the show. You get more screen inch per inch of telephone with this now-basic plan. It likewise has a development style that, similar to the Moto and Honor, isn’t that effectively recognized from a more costly telephone.
The equipment inside is that of a low to mid-extend gadget, however. It has an octa-center chipset without the rankling execution found in more costly opponents. And keeping in mind that the Huawei P Smart has double back cameras, the 13MP and 2MP cluster won’t get you the picture quality or level of foundation obscure impact an iPhone X would. In any case, relatively each and every trade off in the Huawei P Smart is anything but difficult to acknowledge as long as you keep your desires in accordance with the cost.
Aluminum raise with plastic tops
Thin at 7.5mm thick
The Huawei P Smart’s activity isn’t to energize you like an iPhone X. It simply needs to look and feel sufficient to make burning through 3-4 times the cost appear to be senseless. Huawei has completed a great job of sprucing up what is, best case scenario a mid-run development as something top of the line. How about we manage the back first.
The square shape flanked by the two brilliant shimmering strips is anodised aluminum. Be that as it may, above and beneath it, the end tops are plastic. It’s the sort of trade off you’ll just notice in the event that you go searching for it, however this makes the Honor P9 Lite a higher-end outline than the Huawei P Smart. Its external is all glass and aluminum.
The Huawei P Smart likewise has a blend of avant-garde and more established equipment highlights. There’s a decent unique mark scanner on the back. It’s essentially recessed, so you can’t miss it, and works rapidly. Be that as it may, the Huawei P Smart additionally has a smaller scale USB charge attachment as opposed to a USB-C. While the principle true advantages are essentially having the capacity to connect it to whichever way around, and bolster for future USB extras like earphones, it seems dated now.
There’s an earphone jack as well, which some of you may well have exchanged a USB-C away for at any rate. The Huawei P Smart isn’t dilute safe and doesn’t trim the screen encompass as much as some ongoing, more costly telephones. However, it’s generally simple to live with. The telephone is smaller than a Moto G5S and is anything but difficult to deal with. At 7.5mm thick it’s additionally thin.
- Stylish 18:9 angle proportion
- 1080 x 2160 determination
- IPS LCD board
Wide angle screen telephones like this influence you to reevaluate what a ‘major’ screen measure truly is. The Huawei P Smart has a 5.65-inch screen however in taking care of terms the telephone is like one with a 16:9 5.2-inch screen.
Its screen utilizes an IPS LCD board with a determination of 1080 x 2160, the same as pretty much all lower-cost 18:9 viewpoint telephones. Shading, differentiation, sharpness and brilliance are strong. For reasons unknown a few applications appear to keep running at 720p, however that is the product’s blame, not the screen.
Ultra-profound shading is the thing that you miss contrasted and a more costly telephone. Tones look genuinely regular and very much soaked, however contrasting the Huawei P Smart and the ‘DCI P3’ silver screen method of the as of late evaluated HTC U11 Plus, the more costly HTC’s screen is more extravagant still. You can’t tinker with the Huawei P Smart’s immersion or differentiation, yet there is a shading temperature control. Distinctive eyes will lean toward various changes. We very like the telephone with a slight warm skew.
How Escapism Had a Negative Impact in The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
In Jeanette Walls The Glass Castle, the Walls family has miserable life and each member uses different coping mechanisms to deal with that, some healthier than others. They are living in a dilapidated house that they cannot afford to heat in winter, with no running water, garbage in a hole in the front yard, and no money for food. They lack a steady income, especially after Rose Mary spends the summer away renewing a teaching degree and decides she doesn’t want to teach anymore. Everyone copes with this harsh reality very differently. Some members use escapism, and some literally plan how to escape the awful life they are trapped in. Ultimately, using escapism negatively impacts the family’s collective wellbeing as well as the mental health and stability of the individual.
Rex is the most obvious member of the family that uses escapism to deal with his family’s situation. Rex uses alcoholism, gambling, and prostitutes to deal with his reality. He’s an addict who can’t feed his family, and instead of doing anything about it, he hides his head in a bottle. He invents all these amazing stories and fantasies to tell his kids, all about his wondrous exploits, or about how the mob was chasing them across the country. “Dad always fought harder, flew faster, and gambled smarter than anyone else in his stories,” (Walls, 24). He drinks, smokes, and tries to escape to anywhere else, because he does not want to deal with the reality of his starving children, a miserable marriage, and being forced back to the town where he grew up. His alcoholism and general disconnect from reality means that he is unable to hold down a job or provide any steady income, creating a negative atmosphere to raise children in.
Rose Mary, while clearly suffering some form of mental illness, possesses all the tools needed to change her situation and build a better life for her family. She has an abusive drunken husband and four kids to feed, but she also has a teaching degree that allows her to bring in a steady income. The problem is that she lacks the maturity to understand sacrifice. She feels no maternal instinct to make sure her kids are okay and puts her own foolish dreams and creature comforts above the basic needs for her kids. She hides from her abusive husband, sometimes literally when he’s drunk, and ignores her children’s pleas for change. She hides in her paintings and novels, living in her own imaginary world where she never has to get a job and can be a flighty artist forever. She continually blames everyone else for a situation that she has the power to change. In Battle Mountain, when the food runs out, and Jeanette tells her she was hungry, her response was “It’s not my fault if you’re hungry! Don’t blame me. Do you think I like living like this?” (Walls, 69). Her escapism means she is trapped in an abusive relationship, cannot afford to feed her kids, makes art and novels she can never sell, and stays trapped in an existence she hates.
Maureen, though she is a lesser character in the book, uses escapism to deal with a bad life. She’s never home. Jeanette says that of all of the Walls children, Maureen was the happiest in Welch. “She was a storybook beautiful girl, with long blond hair and startling blue eyes. She spent so much time with the families of her friends that she often didn’t seem like a part of our family,” (Walls, 206). Maureen is never home and is always bouncing from one friend’s house to another. In some ways she’s better off because she eats and is warm more than the other Walls children, but that way of surviving stunts her emotional and social growth. She was never really a part of the family. That’s good in the way that Rex and Rose Mary didn’t have as much of a direct influence over her, but it also meant she lacks the sibling bond that the other three have, that provided them support in an unstable home. She was left adrift. It shows later on in the novel when she starts rebelling. She gets into drugs, alcohol, and starts smoking. Life really takes a bad turn for Maureen in her teenage years when she goes back to living with her parents, except this time she has no Pentecostal families to escape to. She possesses some of the same mental problems as her mother and the same lack of accountability. “Six months later, Maureen stabbed Mom. It happened after Mom decided it was time for Maureen to develop a little self-sufficiency by moving out and finding a place of her own,” (Walls, 275). She is the only Walls child who adopted her parent’s methods of escapism, and it is no coincidence that she’s the only Walls child to do poorly in life.
Lori, Jeanette, and Brian never use escapism as a technique of dealing with their situation. That’s not to say that they don’t have distractions and ways of coping with what they’re going through. Jeanette writes, Lori paints and creates art, and Brian escapes to the woods, carving and exploring whenever he can. But none of them use these coping mechanisms as a way to escape reality. Their first priority is always trying to find ways to improve their situation. They go hunting around town in the winter for coal, design budgets that would allow them to live comfortably, and Jeanette even gets a job to help pay for groceries. Unlike their parents and their youngest sister, they take care of priorities first, and spend time doing what they enjoy after. They want to escape their lives, but instead of pretending nothing is wrong the way the other half of the family does, they plan and work hard for a way to build themselves a better life. They make a plan to get out of Welch, and they work hard to follow through on it. “I told Lori about my escape fund, the seventy-five dollars I’d saved. From now on, I said, it would be our joint fund. We’d take on extra work after school and put everything we earned into the piggy bank. Lori could take it to New York and use it to get established, so that by the time I arrived, everything would be set,” (Walls, 222). When Brian finds out later, he picks up extra work and puts money toward the escape fund as well by cutting grass and chopping lumber. They make a plan to physically leave Welch and build themselves a better life away from their parent’s influence, and the choice to do so sets them on a path that leads to the success they have today.
No one in the Walls family enjoys the life they are living. Everyone is looking for a way to escape it, to get to a place where they don’t have to dig through garbage or sleep with a pool raft above their head to stay dry. The difference is Rex, Rose Mary, and Maureen all seek to escape by pretending it’s not happening, by burying their head in the sand and hoping things will change on their own. Lori, Jeanette, and Brian work to make a change. They acknowledge what is going on, and put in time and effort to build a better life for themselves and to earn a fresh start. In the end, escapism is easier. Though it is a quick way to numb the pain, nothing really changes. It may even make things worse in the long run. The only way to change their situation is through hard work and dedication, which is why the three eldest Walls children escape Welch and manage to be functioning, successful people they are today.
Light and Music in The Glass Menagerie and Master Harold…And the Boys
Light and music are two elements of drama that can become significant in developing the plot and characters. Certain playwrights may further incorporate stage lighting including directional lighting and setting lighting in order to not only divert attention to the critical area of the stage, but as well to adequately present their ideas. Correspondingly, music as well can be indirectly implemented in plays through the characters’ dialogue and allusions to musical pieces; thus, becoming symbolic. Furthermore, this music can be directly presented in the background of the play. Both playwrights, Tennessee Williams and Athol Fugard employ the elements of lighting and music in their respective plays, The Glass Menagerie and Master Harold and the Boys in order to both intensify the reality of their plays as well as develop the theme of escapism and the accompanying theme of hope and hopelessness.
Williams uses light for stage directions and as a symbol in The Glass Menagerie in order to develop his theme of hope; more specifically, to portray Laura’s ultimate sense of hopelessness. The stage directions call for “gloomy gray” lighting with a “turgid red glow” and a “deep blue husk”. This form of lighting helps construct the images of memory and its unrelenting power as well as its associated mood of nostalgia and deep melancholy. Such a mood is one that alludes to a sense of hopelessness for which Laura experiences. This hopelessness is emphasized through the symbol of light rather than the stage lighting. That is, the following simile is developed where Laura is described to be “like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting”. Such a description not only forecasts her inability to maintain confidence but as well suggests that her beauty is innately tied to her delicacy and the disadvantage she has with her condition. Moreover, it displays the impermanence of hope in her life, as it comes as quickly as it goes. Williams further emphasizes Laura’s delicacy through another character—Jim. Upon Jim’s arrival to their home, and Laura’s refuge, there is a “delicate lemony light” that appears and eventually a soft light that brings out Laura’s “unearthly prettiness”. As the light symbolizes hope, it becomes evident that Jim provides Laura with a temporary sense of hope upon his arrival. The “lemony” or yellow color that the light is described through, however, becomes of significance as it becomes cautionary of the damage that Jim will ultimately provoke in Laura. Though Jim enlists hope in Laura by providing her with comments that temporarily raise her self-confidence, he flees abruptly, leaving Laura hopeless once again and thus sparking the argument that the play ends on a rather pessimistic note. Williams underscores this lack of hope through Tim’s physical escape from the house; that is, his attempt to escape their reality suggests that he too has withdrawn all his hope in Laura having a better, happier life.
Williams further conveys the very theme of escapism and demonstrates the characters’ abstinence from confronting reality by incorporating music in his theatrical piece. Not only does the music hold a great degree of symbolic significance, but it as well provides emotion to the scenes. In the fourth scene, for example, Williams incorporates “Ava Maria” in the background in order to allude to the harsh responsibilities that Amanda has as a mother. These responsibilities are what ultimately fuel Amanda’s desperate efforts in obtaining a better life for her daughter. In the process of doing so, Amanda feels inclined to escape her reality and own failures as well as the reality of Laura’s handicap. As Tom attempts to make his mother face the reality of her daughter’s handicap, “the music changes to a tango that has a minor and somewhat ominous tone”. The music helps to provide a worrying impression and thus demonstrate Amanda’s fear of reality and the consequences that come with confronting reality. Another character whose attitude towards reality is described through music is Laura. That is, as Jim arrives, Laura becomes terrified and begs her mother to open the door, but she refuses and forces Laura to open it. Before reluctantly opening the door, however, she winds the Victoria to play music. Laura attempts to play this music in order to escape from the intense situation—to escape reality. With Amanda escaping from her past, Laura escaping her troubled existence and Tom escaping the house with its responsibilities including the burden of obtaining a better life for Laura, the characters ultimately push each other farther apart as they retreat into their own imaginations. Hence, music aids in conveying not only the idea of escapism but as well in depicting the alienation the characters feel from not only one another, but from society as a whole.
Fugard as well employs light in his play, Master Harold and the Boys merely as a symbol for hope. When Hally and Sam discuss ballroom dancing, and whether or not dance is considered a form of art, Hally argues and describes that in his imagination, dancing simply involves people “having a so-called good time”. Sam offers another description, claiming that it Hally’s imagination “left out the excitement” and that it is “not just another dance…there’s going to be a lot of people…having a good time…party decorations and fancy lights all around the hall…the ladies in beautiful evening dresses!” The lights evidently become symbolic for positivity and hope as the description of such lights aid Sam in defying Hally’s pessimistic outlook on ballroom dancing. Fugard associates “fancy lights” with the extended metaphor of ballroom dancing in order to present ballroom dancing in a rather positive and hopeful manner. By doing so, Fugard describes the dreamlike quality that the dance and dancers possess. This sort of description demonstrates the dance as a metaphor for social harmony. The symbolic element of light is again presented at the end of the play when the jukebox “comes to life in the gray twilight”. This gray light is incorporated at the end of the play in order to further emphasize the hope for such potential harmony and peace among Blacks and Whites. As gray is midway between black and white, Fugard deliberately incorporates this light as a means of conveying the hope for Blacks and Whites to come together as one. This very idea is further highlighted through Fugard’s employment of the motif of music and the corresponding theme of escapism.
Fugard uses music to not only provide movement to the play, but as well to develop theme of escapism; more specifically, escaping reality as attempted by Sam and Willie. Throughout the play, Sam and Willie practice the “waltz” and “foxtrot” for their ballroom dancing. Similar to light, music as well becomes associated with the extended metaphor of ballroom dancing. Thus, the music helps to allude to a dreamlike, collision-free world by which the dancers are capable of enlisting order in a disordered world, and respectively, an ideal society with no “collisions” between Blacks and Whites. Sam and Willie use music and ballroom dancing to escape their realities; however, Hally interferes with such an escape as he claims “The truth? I seem to be only one around here who is prepared to face it. We’ve had the pretty dream; it’s time now to wake up and have a good long look at the way things really are. Nobody knows the steps, there’s no music, the cripples are also out there tripping up everybody and trying to get into the act, and it’s all called the All-Comers-How-to-Make-a-[Mess]-of-Life-Championships.” As music becomes a symbol for escaping reality, Hally specifically indicates that there is “no music” in order to suggest that escaping reality is impossible. Fugard does not, however, allow these words to convey his final message. Rather, he officially ends the play with lyrics of a song sung by Sarah Vaughn called “Little Man, You’ve had a Busy Day”. This song becomes significant as it suggests that Hally is the little man who was compelled upon adulthood. The little man in the context of the song is in tears because he lost his toys; this seems so simple and foolish to the adult but heartrending to the child. Rather than neglecting his child or disregarding his sadness, the father comforts the child and suggests for him to go to bed. Correspondingly, Sam, who is presented as the ‘father’ of Hally provides him with unconditional support, and suggests for him to sleep so as to allude to escaping the harsh reality of the apartheid system. Though insulted by Hally’s spitting, he ultimately does not lose hope on Hally waking up and realizing that he can control his life and personal decisions and overlook the system of apartheid.
Both Athol Fugard and Tennessee Williams develop the theme of escapism and theme of hope and hopelessness in their plays Master Harold and the Boys and The Glass Menagerie through their incorporation of light and music in the form of stage directions and motifs. Though there is an evident similarity in the manner by which the two playwrights develop these themes, there is also an apparent difference in the final meaning that the two are attempting to convey. That is, Tennessee Williams uses light to convey a sense of hopelessness while Athol Fugard employs this light to leave the audience with a more hopeful attitude towards the future by the end of his play. Williams’ use of light helps justify the characters’ desire to escape their reality and retreat into their fantasy world. Because there is no hope in enhancing their lives, all the characters cope through a complete escape. Fugard offers an antithetical message; rather than the characters’ hopelessness propelling them to escaping their reality, it is their ability to escape the harsh reality of the apartheid system that provides them with hope.
The difference in the two plays is further understood through the macrocosmic vision that the two playwrights allude to. In The Glass Menagerie, Williams portrays a sense of hopelessness and an ultimate desire to escape in his play in order emphasize the way in which individuals viewed the 1940s as an exciting escape from the 1930s. Hence, Amanda, Laura, and Tom become associated with other Americans in the Great Depression who sought relief from their distressing lives by escaping their reality through films, false identities, and fantasies. By making such an association, Williams demonstrates the negative affect of The Great Depression. In Master Harold and the Boys, Athol Fugard ends on a more optimistic note in order to send out an anti-apartheid message—a message that transcends the norms of South Africa at the time. He encourages the fight against the racial segregation as he suggests that society can be a whole and can be harmonious if Blacks and Whites function in unison with each other. Thus, it becomes evident that the manner by which the two playwrights present their themes in their plays correspond with their macrocosmic visions—with and without hope.
Comprehension Through the Smoke, Awareness Beyond the Glasses in A Confederacy of Dunces
In his novel A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole casts Burma Jones in a stereotypical role in society. By hiding Jones’ face behind space-age sunglasses and a cloud of smoke, Toole maintains Jones’ ambiguity while gradually diverging from his stereotype. During Jones’ employment at the Night of Joy bar, he knows his limitations regarding Lana Lee and his own duties. Jones becomes familiar with his surroundings to the point that he not only recognizes his own exploitation, but also the many other atrocities committed by Lana Lee. When Jones exposes Lana Lee at the end of the novel, he breaks his stereotype altogether. Throughout A Confederacy of Dunces, Jones remains fully aware of his circumstances and uses his stereotype to effectively manipulate his situation.
From the moment Toole introduces Jones at the police station, he makes routine references to Jones’ glasses and the cloud of smoke that seems to surround him in order to subtly deemphasize Jones’ identity. Along with keeping Jones relatively anonymous, Toole uses the smoke and sunglasses as metaphors to symbolize the stereotype in which society casts Jones. When Lana Lee physically attempts to see Jones through his dark glasses, she also attempts to see Jones beyond his stereotype. Her lack of success in doing so often makes her feel uneasy.
“I told you to take the glasses off, Jones.”
“The glasses stayin on.” Jones bumped the push broom into a bar stool. “For twenty dollar a week, you ain running a plantation in here.
“Stop knocking that broom against the bar,” she screamed. “Goddammit to hell, you making me nervous.”
Then the cloud of smoke and the broom moved off across the floor (Toole 70).
Toole uses the word “nervous” to reveal Lana Lee’s feeling of discomfort. Lana becomes nervous not only because of Jones’ seemingly reckless sweeping patterns, but because of the anonymity he manages to maintain throughout his employment. Toole reveals that Lana Lee senses something out of the ordinary concerning Jones, and she cannot make sense of his sarcastic comments and sharp remarks. Physically hidden behind his glasses and metaphorically hidden behind his stereotype, Jones skillfully escapes any interpretation from Lana Lee. Lana sees Jones only as “the cloud of smoke and the broom.” Toole employs this metonymy to emphasize Jones’ lack of identity in the eyes of Lana Lee and the rest of society. Toole refers to Jones as “the cloud of smoke and the broom” to present society’s nescient view of Jones.
While hidden behind his stereotype, Jones also recognizes the security of his job due to his codependent relationship with Lana Lee. He understands Lana Lee’s economic dependence on him and regularly tests his limitations while working. Jones knows he cannot quit for fear of vagrancy, but he regularly asserts his opinions. When asked to run an errand for Lana, Jones flatly refuses.
You cain scare color peoples no more. I got me some peoples form a human chain in fron your door, drive away your business, get you on the TV news. Color peoples took enough horseshit already, and for twenty dollar a week you ain piling no more on. I getting pretty tire of bein vagrant or workin below the minimal wage. Get somebody else run your erran (Toole 71).
Toole employs the verb “scare” to emphasize Jones’ sense of confidence as he responds to Lana Lee. Along with this confidence, Jones applies his understanding of his circumstances to ascertain his own limitations at the Night of Joy. Knowing that Lana Lee will not fire him, Jones routinely tests and manipulates Lana Lee to make the most of his imprisonment. In response to Jones’ refusal, Lana Lee replies, “Aw, knock it off and finish my floor. I’ll get Darlene to go” (Toole 71). With regard to Lana Lee, Jones knows exactly how far he can go. Jones’ understanding of his circumstances leads to his composure when confronting Lana Lee. Lana attempts to appease Jones only because she has “an investment to protect” (Toole 72). Lana sees Jones as no more than a cheap and stereotypical piece of property, and she unconsciously treats him as such.
Aside from recognizing his own limitations, Jones also remains aware of his environment in order to determine the best way to use his inside information. Jones cannot immediately report Lana Lee’s obscene pornographic activities, so he uses his knowledge to further manipulate Lana.
“Whoa! I knowed it all along. Well, if you ever plannin to call up a po-lice about me, I plannin to call up a po-lice about you. Phones at the po-lice headquarters really be hummin. Ooo-wee. Now lemme in peace with my sweepin and moppin. Recor playin pretty advance for color peoples. I probably break your machine” (Toole 219).
Jones recognizes that he and Lana Lee both have information to hold against one another. Along with his elaborate plan to expose Lana, Jones uses his knowledge to attack her. Jones’ comical sarcasm referencing his own record playing abilities serves only to further insult her intelligence. Lana immediately dismisses the idea of Jones’ intellectual dexterity because she cannot see past his stereotype. Toole explains, “Lana studied Jones’ face, but his eyes were invisible behind the smoke and dark glasses” (Toole 219). Perfectly hidden under the guise of his stereotype, Jones uses Lana’s nescience against her. Lana continues to ignore Jones’ motives and quick wit, and lets him continue “goofing off behind them goddam glasses” (Toole 167). Ironically, Jones plans to “break” more than Lana Lee’s record player.
Through the course of Jones’ planned sabotage of the Night of Joy, Toole includes several seemingly inconspicuous hints to foreshadow the effects of Jones’ actions. When Jones manages to manipulate Darlene and Lana into incorporating the bird into Darlene’s dance routine, Toole adds that Jones “created a dangerous-looking nimbus that seemed ready to burst.” Toole uses this metaphor as an omen to Lana Lee, which she fails to recognize due to her underestimation of Jones. As Jones manipulates his situation to the best of his ability, Lana Lee cannot determine his true motives.
Toole again alludes to Jones careful manipulation of Lana Lee when Jones briefly removes his stereotype. Toole describe that Jones, “for the first time in the Night of Joy, took off his sunglasses” (Toole 224). In briefly removing his glasses, Jones removes his stereotype as well. By actually writing the Night of Joy address on the packages, Jones completely emerges from the cover of his stereotype. Ironically, Lana Lee had left the room immediately preceding Jones’ removal of his stereotype for the first time in the novel. While Jones undoubtedly benefited from a lucky series of events following his planned sabotage of Lana Lee, he undeniably made the most of imprisonment through clever use of his stereotype.
Jones ultimately succeeds in his sabotage through a combination of luck and dexterity. While he could not have sabotaged Lana Lee without the coincidental help of Ignatius and Officer Mancuso, he skillfully puts these characters in place to execute his plan. While vigilantly manipulating other characters in the novel, Jones manages to simultaneously escape any interpretation from the outside world by hiding behind his stereotype. Rather than accepting confinement by his stereotype, Jones uses it to his advantage.
Manufacturing Illusions: Irony in The Glass Menagerie
Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is a play founded on illusion. Williams uses the devices of illusion and metaphor to illustrate truth, which he sometimes reveals through the use of irony. In the production notes that preface the play, Williams writes that “expressionism and all other unconventional techniques” in a play “should be attempting to find a closer approach, a more penetrating and vivid expression of things as they are” and that “truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest.”
The role of Tom, the poet, is as a fabricator or conveyor of illusions: Tom functions as the play’s narrator and “as an undisguised convention of the play” (Sc. 1). He states in his introductory monologue: “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion” (Sc. 1). His statement removes any doubt that he is the play’s primary illusionist, controlling the memories of his family like puppets on strings for the audience to witness.
Critic Joven indicates that the isolation of the Wingfields and their “untenability” with the modern world necessitates their removal into something more illusory: “The Wingfields cannot co-exist with the real world around them because to live as they wish is to deny the existence of [the outside] world.” Additionally, she points out that the entire family has fallen victim to worlds of their own making: “Amanda’s dreams deny the passage of time. Laura’s life denies the outside world completely” (54).
Tom, as the messenger of memory (“This scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic”), and the conveyor of poetic device, is accused by his frustrated mother of precisely what he has already admitted to (Sc. 1). Amanda, after her efforts to find a match for Laura have been frustrated, blames Tom: “You live in a dream; you manufacture illusions!” (Sc. 7).
Amanda’s accusation is both fitting and ironic. The reader of the play has already been informed that such is Tom’s function, but his mother fails to see the truth behind the illusions—perhaps because she is within the play and therefore part of the past and Tom’s memory. Joven notes that “[i]t is Tom the poet who associates Laura with bits of colored glass and with familiar phrases of music. It is the poet’s mind which perceives the ironic contrast between the hopes of Amanda and Laura and the harsh reality of Paradise Dance Hall” (60).
In a similar manner, Amanda’s accusation is ironic; she misses the point entirely. She is, on one hand, a practical woman, a planner of occasions, and it may not be within her scope to comprehend the underlying truths that Tom attempts to project. But on the other hand, the irony lies partly in the fact that she manufactures her own illusions, and accuses Tom of something she is guilty of as well. Presley supports this idea, noting: “Ironically what the playwright reveals is a cast of characters caught up in illusions of their own making. All of them…have built their lives on insubstantial premises of deception” (34). Their deception is an intentional self-deception created from necessity and self-preservation.
But what is the truth that Tom intends to convey? The answer may be multi-faceted. One aspect may be social commentary. Williams indicates in the notes to Scene 1 the harsh conditions in which the family lives. Their building is, he describes, “one of those vast hive-like conglomerations of cellular living-units that flower as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers of lower middle-class population and are symptomatic of the impulse of this largest and fundamentally enslaved section of American society.” The term “enslavement” can be fittingly applied to the Wingfields. The illusion they create is an attempt at escape from the very environment in which they are trapped. Laura is more a bird in a cage than anyone else in the play: in addition to her environment, she is both physically disabled and emotionally stunted.
The play’s tragic characters indicate another potential truth. At the play’s end, Tom’s narrative is wrapping up and the reader comes to understand the guilt he carries with him. The colored glass he sees in shop windows in his travels reminds him of Laura. He exclaims, “Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!” Bigsby’s interpretation indicates the narrative itself as a catalyst to the tragic events, and possibly, even, Tom’s guilt:
For Williams, narrative itself is the origin of painful ironies. It implies causality, the unraveling of a time which can only be destructive of character and relationship. […] Hence he and his characters try to stop time. They react, in a sense, against plot. In a way the narrative of their lives does not generate meaning; the meaning ascribed to those lives by history and myth generates the narrative. And as a result they wish to freeze the past and inhabit it, or they spin their own autonomous fictions and submit themselves to a logic dictated by symbol and metaphor (95).
Tom’s guilt over leaving his sister has resulted in his “freezing” the past and weaving a narrative “dictated by symbol and metaphor;” their lives are without meaning except by whatever truth is ascribed to them by the reader, the audience.
Seen in this light, Amanda’s accusation to Tom is all the more tragic. It holds both more truth and irony than she will ever understand. After all, she is only a figment of Tom’s imagination, and more Tom, even, than she is herself. The same is true of Laura—like the other characters in the play; they are all facets of Tom: his imagination, his memory, his poetic interpretations and illusory, ironic narrative weaving.
Bigsby, C. W. E. “Celebration of a Certain Courage.” Modern Critical Interpretations: Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988. 89-99.
Joven, Nilda G. “Illusion Versus Reality in The Glass Menagerie.” Readings on The Glass Menagerie. Ed. Bruno Leone, et al. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. 52-60.
Presley, Delma Eugene. The Glass Menagerie: An American Memory. Woodbridge, CT: Twayne Publishers, 1990.