The Glass Menagerie
The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
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Foil

Character Role Analysis

Jim to Tom

Jim has a lot of characteristics that Tom doesn’t. Naturally, Amanda loves the guy. When Jim comes to visit, it’s like when that over-achieving friend comes over and your parents are all like, "Why can’t you be more like him?" But getting to the specifics: Tom is a sloth lacking ambition, according to his mother, whereas Jim has dreams of making it big. Tom goes to the movies, whereas Jim takes public speaking lessons. They seem quite different, yet they both end up, in one way or another, screwing over Amanda and Laura. Neither lives up to the inflated roles Amanda creates for them, which may say more about Amanda and her absurd dreams than it does about either man.


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