Study Guide

The Glass Menagerie Deception and Lies

By Tennessee Williams

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Deception and Lies

In The Glass Menagerie, Amanda retreats from reality by denial and deliberately deluding herself as to the true nature of things. She refuses to see that her daughter is crippled or her son a writer who likes to drink, raising the notion that parents often see only the good qualities in their children. She is also somewhat blind as to her own status; although she readily admits that she is old, Amanda still thinks of herself as the pretty Southern Belle, getting all dolled up and playing the charming hostess.

Questions About Deception and Lies

  1. Denial, blindness, self-delusion… EVERYONE in the Wingfield family has jumped onto the escape from reality bandwagon, which is getting pretty crowded. So how does each of them deny the world around them? Which one is worst? Is there ever a good way or reason to enter the world of illusion?
  2. We're totally into the scene where Jim penetrates Laura's secret world. Jim is the only character to get through to Laura. What is it about him that lets him do so?

Chew on This

Although Tom, Laura, and Amanda all escape reality and delude themselves, [insert name here] suffers from denial in the most detrimental way.

Although denial may seem detrimental, [insert name here] uses it in a positive and beneficial way.

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