Professor M. Altschuler
February 21, 2012
Tom’s closing monologue
The glass menagerie is a play where irony, illusions, and reality play a huge factor in each characters life. The three themes are revealed at many places throughout the play, and are made clear of which character suits which theme. As the play moves on, the audience learns much more about each character, and sees the themes in varies ways. Although these themes are clear throughout the play, the closing speech makes the themes much stronger and helps the audience to understand the play much better. Tom’s final monologue is a well-known and powerful moment, which strengthens the themes, and taking the play to a new level. The speech creates a new wall between Tom and his family in many different ways. Tom and his family are both at different time and place, at the same time. Tom has his own different views to look at his life, while his sister and mother have the complete opposite view. There are many things in this final monologue that will explain Tom’s feelings towards his family, and what he expects from his life.
Tom’s speech starts with “I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further for time is the longest distance between two places…” he infers that he never returned to St. Louis, and spent the remaining of his life traveling from place to place. He also infers that he had decided where he wanted to go, but wasn’t able to achieve his goal which was to become a writer, as he says in the following line “…not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on a lid of a shoe-box”. The fire escape has been a symbol of Tom’s entrance and exit in both his reality and his world of illusions. When he says “I descended the steps of the fire-escape for a last time…” he implies his permanent leave from his reality world to his dream world, in which he intends to be isolated from the world, and turn his dream world into reality. The following sentence says “…following, from then on,...