Escaping To the Ideal Dream; The Glass Menagerie

When we look at classic American Plays, The Glass Menagerie of Tennessee Williams will jump to mind, because although written in the 1930’s it portrays how people perpetuate an almost blind following of the American Dream which may or may not really represent the hopes and dreams of the people who are following it. The American Dream has been an ideal for many people for hundreds of years and it has determined their relative success or failure in life. The play depicted a family that was trapped by that dream yet still held onto the hope that with hard work and perseverance they would experience the ultimate in success.

The False American Dream

The pretense that one set of circumstances should be ascribed to by masses of people in order to determine success tends to leave out the individuality of those who are chasing it. Each human being on the face of the Earth has a unique ability to perform certain tasks with their own unique talents and abilities. Only some of these abilities are going to lead to instant success in the financial sense. Therefore, all the individuals that don’t fall into that specific category are going to fail to meet this dream. Or they are going to pursue it doggedly and expect that it will bring happiness in the end. When it doesn’t make them happy, they will start to question themselves and their abilities.

Many people have gone through a crisis during the middle of their lives because the reality they were living didn’t bring them the happiness that they imagined that it would. When there is a breakdown in the reality that we are promised then the actions we take are going to seem to be wildly out to the realm of what others have come to expect from us. Yet, the problem isn’t so much with the people as it is with the idealistic dream of happiness that we were fed throughout our lives and educations.


The American Dream has been promoted for years by fantasy writers and creates an unrealistic attempt to fit all people into one singular mold. This attempt removes all individuality and originality and replaces it with a uniformity that has no chance of making others happy. When this dream is shattered and the promised happiness never comes to people then there are significant repercussions in their lives. These can range from the mild of changing careers to the significant of leaving your life behind completely.