Study Guide

The Glass Menagerie Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

By Tennessee Williams

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Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

In The Glass Menagerie, dreams of the future are the source of conflict, primarily when one character’s dream doesn’t match up with another’s. While Amanda wants her children to fulfill the classic American Dream of hard work and success, Tom has dreams of being a writer, and Laura is too shy to even leave the house. This also raises the issue of parents imposing their dreams on their children, rather than allowing them to figure out themselves just what it is that they want.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. All these characters, all these dreams. What does each character want?
  2. Jim basically has the American Dream, and is doing something about it. How are his efforts presented, though? Does it look like Jim indeed will be successful? Or is there some fun being had at this chipper boy's expense?

Chew on This

Although their fights take many different forms, Amanda and Tom major conflict is their inability to reconcile their different dreams for the future.

The Glass Menagerie serves as a direct attack on the American Dream, as Amanda's expectations for the marriage and success of her children are impossible.

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