The Glass Menagerie ~ Character Archetypes by Idelkys

May 8, 2020


The Glass Menagerie ~ Character Archetypes

Tom is a dynamic character. His archetype changes over the course of the play. At the beginning of the story, he is the archetypal black sheep. This can be seen on page #1, where the author writes: “ I haven’t enjoyed one bite of this dinner because of your constant directions on how to eat it. It’s you that makes me rush through meals with your hawk-like attention to every bite I take.  Sickening – spoils my appetite – all this discussion of – animals’ secretion – salivary glands -mastication! AMANDA [lightly]: Temperament like a Metropolitan star!  [He rises and crosses downstage.]  You’re not excused from the table.  TOM: I’m getting a cigarette. In this part of the book Tom lacks respects towards his mother due to her attempt in trying to educate him how to eat. He responds to her in a bad way as if he would be rejecting to be educated. It is why he is being identified as a black sheep and grumpy child .

But by Scene 6, Tom has begun to transform into the archetypal the ally. Looks like their relations from mother to son was improving involving the plan to get a gentleman caller for his sister Laura. For instance, in scene six, from the Glass Menagerie discusses, “ Tell me yours? I hope you don’t have any! Tom?. TOM [returning]: Yes, Mother?. AMANDA: Is supper nearly ready?. TOM: It looks to me like supper is on the table. AMANDA: Let me look – [She rises prettily and looks through portières.]  Oh, lovely!  – But where is Sister?. TOM: Laura is not feeling well – and she says that she thinks she’d better not come to the table. This evidence means that there is more union between Tom and his mother. In fact, different circumstances in have made them come together as a family and at the same times as allies.

Tom is no longer the person who disrespect Amanda, like in the beginning of the play when he was upset but means that he matured much more than before and they have come up as a more familiarized people.

A reader might predict that the turning point for Tom comes when he and his mother end up improving more their relationship until Tom ask for all bad things and disrespect he has done towards his mother. Page 7 encourages this belief : “TOM: Mother. AMANDA: Yes, honey?. TOM: How about – supper?. A M A N D A: Honey, you go ask Sister if supper is ready!  You know that Sister is in full charge of supper!  Tell her you hungry boys are waiting for it. It may be evident that their treat to each other is weigh different from the beginning to at this point of stage.