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92 The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics You Won’t Want to Miss

Oct 20, 2022

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Oct 20, 2022 | Topics

The Glass Menagerie is one of those plays that has a universal appeal. The Glass Menagerie was written by Tennessee Williams who was considered a master storyteller and poet. The play explores the role of women, relationships over time, and the importance of “family”.

It is a memory play that uses Tom Wingfield, an aspiring poet who works at a shoe warehouse, to provide for his mother Amanda and Sister Laura’s needs because their father left many years ago without saying anything or coming back.

Simple The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics

  1. What is a glass menagerie?
  2. Discuss the characters in the play: Tom, Laura, and Amanda.
  3. How does Tennessee Williams use symbolism in The Glass Menagerie?
  4. Describe how symbols are used to show family relationships in The Glass Menagerie.
  5. What are some examples of foreshadowing found in the play, The Glass Menagerie
  6. Compare and contrast the two main characters of Tom and Laura Wingfield’s family
  7. What is the meaning of the title? What does it mean, and how does it relate to the play?
  8. In Act, I, Scene 1 of the play, Amanda Wingfield tells her son about her childhood and how she came to marry Tom Wingfield’s father. How do these stories relate to each other?
  9. Discuss how Amanda feels about money in Act II of The Glass Menagerie
  10. In Act II, Scene 1, Jim O’Connor is invited over for dinner but never shows up. What might have happened to him? Why do you think Tom doesn’t want his mother to know about Jim’s absence?
  11. Laura dreams of becoming an actress in New York City, but she can’t seem to break away from her family home in St Louis (or maybe she doesn’t want to). What role does her family play in keeping Laura tied down, and what makes it so hard for her to leave them behind?

Easy The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics

  1. In your opinion, what kind of character is Laura Wingfield?
  2. Discuss the importance of the setting in The Glass Menagerie.
  3. Examine how Williams’ use of symbolism furthers his theme in the play.
  4. Analyze Amanda’s character and her relationship with her children in The Glass Menagerie, focusing on when she is at her most sympathetic and when she is at her most unlikeable.
  5. Compare and contrast Amanda with Laura, focusing on their respective views on finances and romance
  6. How does Tom feel about his job at Standard Oil?
  7. The role of fathers in the play
  8. How Menagerie can be interpreted as a feminist play
  9. Sam’s relationship with his mother and sister
  10. Time in the play and its significance to each character’s development (especially Laura’s)
  11. The setting of Act II, Scene 1—does it represent Laura’s mind?
  12. Why is Tom so important to Laura’s plan for later life?
  13. A comparison between Laura and Amanda in their ability to let go of their pasts
  14. What is “hope” in this play?


Interesting The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics

  1. How the Characters in The Glass Menagerie Represent Depression-Era Values
  2. Does an Outsider Have a Chance of Success in America?
  3. Does the Past Affect Our Present?
  4. How The Glass Menagerie portrays human relationships
  5. The symbolism of Laura’s glass menagerie
  6. The character of Amanda Wingfield and its effect on her family members in the play
  7. How the narrator of the play, Tom Wingfield, is affected by his mother and sister in the story
  8. What it means when Tom says that he is writing an essay about a dream (in Act 1)
  9. How this play illustrates a dysfunctional family relationship between Amanda Wingfield and her two children, Laura and Tom Wingfield
  10. What kind of love would you choose to experience if given a chance?

Controversial The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics

  1. Would you rather see The Glass Menagerie the play, watch the movie or listen to it? Why?
  2. What did you think about Tom’s character in The Glass Menagerie?
  3. The Glass Menagerie is a play about an uneducated woman who has to deal with her children’s needs, her husband’s lack of motivation, and the fact that she has no future. What do you think of this statement?
  4. Explaining what happens in William’s play The Glass Menagerie, would you say it is a family drama? If so, why?
  5. Does Amanda Wingfield deserve sympathy for having such high expectations for her children even though she has failed as a parent due to her inability to accept responsibility for them and herself?
  6. Who was responsible for Laura Wingfield’s handicap? Was it her parents or society?
  7. What were Jim’s real intentions when he proposed marriage to Laura?
  8. Was Tom Wingfield an unreliable narrator?

The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics for middle school

  1. In your opinion, what is the most important theme in the play?
  2. Are Tom and Laura doomed to repeat their parents’ mistakes if they don’t break out of this cycle?
  3. What do you think of Tom’s attitude toward Laura and Jim O’Connor (her suitor)?
  4. The Glass Menagerie play by Tennessee Williams is a play about how the past affects the present and future. Discuss
  5. Analyze how Amanda Wingfield views her life and her family after being paralyzed for so long.
  6. Discuss how Tennessee Williams writes and uses the setting to convey information about characters in the play
  7. A major event from the play that you particularly enjoyed or found interesting.
  8. The meaning of an important symbol in this play, such as a glass animal figurine or a crutch.
  9. What is the role of memory in The Glass Menagerie?
  10. How does Tennessee Williams depict the relationship between Laura, Tom, and Amanda Wingfield?
  11. What are some ways to interpret the ending of The Glass Menagerie?
  12. How does Amanda Wingfield’s past shape her present, and what effect do these memories have on her family life?
  13. Compare and contrast the characters of Tom and Amanda with those of Tom and Laura.
  14. Explain how each character’s relationship with Amanda affects their life differently throughout The Glass Menagerie.
  15. Describe at least three times in different parts of the play when Tom, Laura, or Amanda are aware that they are living in a dream world or fantasy created by their minds
  16. In Act, One Scene Two, at the end of Mrs. Wingfield’s monologue, describe how she comes across to you
  17. Explain how Tennessee Williams uses characterization and dialogue techniques to develop both plot lines

The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics for high school

  1. Discuss how important the themes of isolation and the search for acceptance in society relate to the play’s characters as individuals and as a family unit.
  2. In your opinion, what would happen if Amanda had never gotten married and was still living in the house with Laura and Tom?
  3. How does Tom’s relationship with his mother affect his relationship with others in the play?
  4. How does Amanda’s treatment of Laura affect her daughter throughout her life?
  5. How does this play define family, and how does it differ from other definitions?
  6. What are the characters’ roles in the play, and how do they relate or not relate to each other?
  7. Is there truth or illusion in their beliefs, opinions, and actions?
  8. How do these characters interact and affect one another’s lives?
  9. How does the Glass Menagerie reflect Tennessee Williams’ own life?
  10. How does Tom’s character change throughout the play?
  11. What are some themes in The Glass Menagerie, and how do they relate to Williams’ personal experiences?
  12. What role does memory play in The Glass Menagerie?
  13. Who is Laura Wingfield, and what is her relationship with Jim O’Connor like?

The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics for college

  1. The Glass Menagerie is a coming-of-age story.
  2. Laura Wingfield’s relationship with Amanda Wingfield
  3. The recurring image of glass in the play’s title and characters’ names
  4. Tennessee Williams’ use of memory in this play
  5. The character Tom Wingfield and his struggle with fatherhood, adulthood, and responsibility
  6. How does Tom’s relationship with Laura change over time?
  7. How do you feel about Amanda Wingfield? Do you find her sympathetic or unsympathetic?
  8. Discuss how the themes of the nature of dreams and reality to how people deal with their pasts and present situations are developed in Tom’s character throughout the play.
  9. Why do you think Amanda and Laura act so strange when they’re alone together in Act 2 Scene 5?

The Glass Menagerie Essay Questions

  1. What is the significance of the title of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie?
  2. How does Amanda Wingfield’s characterization in The Glass Menagerie relate to her characterization in A Streetcar Named Desire?
  3. Why does Tom leave his job as a shoe salesman?
  4. How do you interpret Laura’s relationship with her brother, Tom, and father, Jim O’Connor?
  5. Why might Williams have chosen to write The Glass Menagerie as a play rather than a novel or short story?
  6. Discuss the character of Laura Wingfield.
  7. Analyze the relationship between Tom and Jim O’Connor in The Glass Menagerie.
  8. Discuss the role of memory in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, especially regarding Laura Wingfield’s character.
  9. In what ways does Tom Wingfield resemble his father?
  10. Why do you think Amanda is so protective of her daughter, Laura Wingfield?


Hopefully, this list of The Glass Menagerie Essay Topics will help you start your essay. Remember, the best way to write a great essay is by taking your time and doing the research required to ensure that your writing is accurate and interesting. In our blog post, you also look for other helpful tips in w To Write A Good Essay.

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