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The play is a memory play in which the acts are drawn from the narrator-memory. Tom's Most plays do not have narrators, but the use of Tom gives the plot a more dramatic tone. The spectator benefits from the use of a narrator so they can distinguish between situations where dramatic reality is introduced and areas where the play varies due to distortions of the narrator's mind. Since it is a memory play, the narrator is important in discriminating between the realities and the experiences. His usage is often crucial in identifying the play's motif of comparison. On the one hand, Tom reads writes poems and dreams of escaping whilst on the other hand; he is bound to his household and all the problems the family faces.
Without the use of a narrator the play would have been a little hard to discern as the narrator even directly addresses the audience. This not only helps in increasing audiences understanding but also helps in shaping or influencing the audience’s thoughts on a character. His presence in the play allowed audiences to also look back on their lives, sifting through the memories to find the family heartaches and disappointments that led to the decision to leave and find a way to better oneself. In the opening monologue, Tom tells that what we are about to see is not ‘realistic’ but is a ‘memory’ (Williams). This indicates the narrator’s most important role which was to help the audience decipher the difference between what was real and what were memories in the play.
The Glass menagerie. By Tennesse Williams. Duke of York Theatre, NewYork. 26 April 2016. Web.
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