The Glass Menagerie vs. The Death of a Salesman Essay

This essay has a total of 562 words and 3 pages.

The Glass Menagerie vs. The Death of a Salesman

In both The Glass Menagerie and The Death of a Salesman there are startling similarities
and differences. After reading and analyzing both plays, these aspects become evident. We
see these differences in their styles, acts, scenes, characters, endings and uses of
symbolism.

The two authors are very similar. I believe that the two combined many autobiographical
tidbits hidden within the plays. For example, I do not believe that is was by mere
coincidence that the main character of The Glass Menagerie, Thomas Wingfield, had the same
initials of its playwright, Thomas “Tennessee” Williams. Another autobiographical aspect
is that of using the idea of a crippled little sister and an ex-southern belle for the
other two main characters. These characters and their distinct characteristics held true
to Tennessee Williams’ own life. The character Willy Loman also depicts autobiographical
parts of the life of Arthur Miller. It wasn’t as blatantly obvious, but the character
Willy Loman felt he was inadequate and his life was wasted, just as Miller did at this
point in his life. The weak father-son relationship was also an aspect of Miller’s life,
which he illustrates through Biff and Willy. Both of the playwrights ended the plays
leaving the audience in awe, and thinking, “it ends like that!?” I believe that the
primary reason these authors are so highly regarded is because they broke away from the
idea of a “fairy-tale” ending. In their own way both endings are happy, even though Willy
Loman dies and Laura Wingfield is left without a gentleman caller. Willy Loman is finally
released from his burden and can stop selling himself. Tom realizes his love for his
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