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Common Problems In English Spoken Language Among Under Graduate Students At Jordanian Universities

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Parentheses can best be defined as a literary stylistic device that originates from a Greek term which means alongside or place. Parentheses is thus an explanatory or qualifying sentence, phrase or word inserted by writers into passages or paragraphs (Covey& England, 2012). However, parentheses are not necessarily a requirement in enhancing the meaning of a sentence or passage. In that, if they are left out, grammatically it does not impact the textual meaning which means that it is still appropriate and correct without its presence. Parentheses are marked off using square and round brackets or by the use of dashes, brackets, commas or short lines. As per as the parentheses purpose is concerned, the verbal units creates extra information, interrupts the general phrase and syntactic wording flow and permits readers to paying attention to the given explanation thus ultimately enhancing the general understanding (Covey& England, 2012). Thus, parentheses denote punctuation marks that are utilized in separating relevant data or comments from the other text, or to enclose numerical and alphabetical symbols or texts inside the parentheses marks.

Despite the benefits parentheses overuse might result in sentences being structured poorly and might seem ambiguous. Parentheses are also referred as round brackets in the American language. Parentheses are primarily utilized to separating information that is perceived to be less significant to the general meaning of the entire sentence (Covey& England, 2012). The bracketed material removal would still retain the sense of the sentence. For instance, Mount Everest (in the Himalayas) is the World’s highest mountain. There are a number of books that particularly, address the subject (refer page 11). From the example, it is apparent that parentheses are utilized in adding more information to the main claim or as a source of reference where the information can be found. In addition, they can be utilized in enclosing comments by the individual writing. For instance, he had quite too much drunk (not like I judged him). The parentheses show the comment made by the individual after making the main claim which does not alter the general meaning of the main sentence and the intended context (Covey& England, 2012).

On the other hand square, brackets which are known to be mere brackets are primarily utilized to enclosing phrases that are added by individuals other than the initial writer or the original speaker in a typical manner in the clarification of concerns. She (security officer) cannot give enough proof of what had happened (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2009). The bracketed information is the comment of an individual rather than the original speaker but despite the fact that it does not affect the general meaning of the phrase it adds more clarification to what the speaker was communicating (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2009). The use of parentheses at the end of any sentence, the major period should be set outside as the ultimate punctuation. For example, eventually, they decided that they will settle particularly settle in Britain, London (Jordan’s Home). Another example, Duncan asserted that it was the last thing that he remembers [lying down]. This, therefore, ends the sentence as the ultimate punctuation without any additional punctuation at the end of the phrase.

Parentheses are usually integrated into pairs having major as well as minor uses (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2009). Parentheses are utilized in surrounding a thin that appears to be out of a location in sentences. This refers to the inward clarification or an extra commentary regarding the subject to offer an additional explanation. For example, the 10th anniversary of St. John’s eruption (14th April, 1990) created vivid memories in regard to morals and evil. The anniversary date which in this case is placed as (14th April, 1990) is the sentence’s parentheses. This is the additional information that the writer wishes to communicate to his or her readers. However, the information is not a necessary section of this sentence. If it is left out, then the readers will still gain a better understanding of the intended claim in regard to the recalled memories from the anniversary event. Parentheses, therefore, occurs as the final punctuation because the date has incorporated commas that separate the year and the actual day. This means that surrounding it with additional commas would destroy its meaning thus creating complexity in reading (Dorfman & Cappelli, 2009). Parentheses, in this case, can be categorized as obvious options.

Parentheses can also be defined as a punctuation signs pair that is useful in marking texts off. In that parentheses are utilized in specified grounds that can, therefore, be covered by the use of just a few directions. Exaggeration of parentheses creates a distraction on the readers thus distorting the message being passed (Aurelio, 2004). In that, the prime rationale behind the usage is enclosing passing comments, additional information or accounting for accidental data. Parenthetical information and comments mainly serve in illustrating or in clarification or offering afterthoughts or addition parentheses are utilized in the encompassing of certain letters as well as numeric and letters while outlining or listing subjects. While writing the name of products, organization or items for the first time that is well known by its acronym needs the full writing and referral in acronym under parentheses. This enables the readers in knowing what they are supposed to search for in later period (Aurelio, 2004). For example, Volunteers, as well as staffs registered under the Employee Protective Organization (EPO), are hoping to end and eliminate the occurrence of oppression and cruelty within the contemporary working surrounding.

Parentheses use in supplemental information occurs when the writer wishes to incorporate additional data that is not linked to the main subject, but the additional data does not adequately fit into the prime sentences parts or passages (Aurelio, 2004). When the information has been set off with the use of parentheses, this implies that the significance of the content is de-asserted in ensuring that the main textual points are not detracted. For example, Martha owes the organization at least eight hundred dollars ($800) which must be paid by the end of the coming week. In addition, they are utilized in noting numeric or letter figures. In often cases when numeric figures are spelled out, it is useful to note them in numeric form in easing understanding (Konurbaev, 2015). In this context, the figures can be specified in numeric nature by being placed under parentheses for more understanding as demonstrated by the example above.

When listing or outlining a set of information in passages and paragraphs numbering with the use of parentheses results in clarity while eliminating any kind of confusion. The number is parenthetical in the quest of highlighting all the given claims (Konurbaev, 2015). In addition, while listing, for instance, the company mainly needs to hire individuals who (1) possess great ethical skills, (2) possess the knowledge and the relevant skills in reference to the most recent editing and enhancing practices and (3) holds at least four years professional working experience in the media sector. Parentheses may also facilitate the indication of plural nouns. In that, within the written text the writer might speak in regard of the singular form of certain subjects while realizing that the information would, in addition, apply to the plural nature of the same nouns (Konurbaev, 2015). This is accomplished by placing‘s’ in parentheses which follow the noun that can also be pluralized. For example, this year’s festival organizers are mainly hoping to accommodate the biggest crowd, so you should all bring your friend(s) along during your attendance. This, therefore, shows that the audience can either bring one friend or even more. The plural representation is useful because it eliminates limits and assumptions that the audiences are only expected to bring a single friend. The parenthesis in this context is not a commentary but it adds information for clarification and creating improved understanding.

    Normally, parenthetical data falls amid extensive or large sentences. Therefore, if parentheses appear at the sentence end or immediately prior a different punctuation type, then that punctuation must be placed after the parentheses closing and not within (Putnam & Pak, 2005). For example, Max Weber’s (German’s Sociologist and philosopher) sociological and philosophical ideas, highly influenced Martin Luther King (American Activist).however, for full sentences the punctuation should only occur inside the parentheses. In most occasions, similar information incorporated in the respective parentheses are placed as complete or detailed sentences that are relatively parts of the main sentences (Putnam & Pak, 2005). In this cases, the punctuation occurs inside the sentences by including the period on the inner side of parentheses. For example, a new retail shop has been built on the land’s ground. (This occurred 10 years after the original outlet had been destroyed during clashes.) A bad example of these of the punctuation is, a new retail shop has been built on the land’s ground. ‘’ (This occurred 10 years after the original outlet had been destroyed during clashes).’’

    When integrating parentheses every punctuation should be enclosed as required. Colons, commas, full-stops, and semi-colons placed at the center of the parenthetical context should be incorporated within this parentheses (Putnam & Pak, 2005). In addition, if exclamation and question marks need to be incorporated at the sentence end then this means that the parentheses statement should end in the middle rather than at the final end so that the punctuations signs can be incorporated on the inside prior to the sentence’s closing parentheses. For example, my classmate George (Remember him?) is currently working at our organization. The punctuation has adequately been incorporated within the parentheses without affecting the general meaning of the main sentence. In addition rather than including a complete sentence within the parentheses the commentary is rather short. Punctuation should only be incorporated when they are needed in sentences. This is because parentheses are punctual signs by themselves are therefore they do not necessarily demand additional punctuation (Putnam & Pak, 2005). In short, the only period in which punctuation signs should be placed post or prior the parentheses would be in instances where the sentences would still necessitate punctuation without the inclusion of parentheses. It is wrong for example to state that ‘’ the new mobile retail outlet (on the 8th Street), additionally offers more affordable options.’’ In this context, the coma should not appear after the parentheses which should be (on the 8th Street) given that even without the parentheses the comma would not be a necessity.

    Given that parenthetical phrases, words or clauses are normally the remarks from the speaker or writer or additional noteworthy information there is a rule to be followed. The rule on whether parentheses should be utilized is that if the sentence meaning would be vivid without the use of parenthetical statements then this means that parentheses are appropriate (Geary, Rahman, Raman and Raman, 2006). When the parenthetical declaration comprises of some needed data, then an unconventional punctuation method should then be deliberated.  For instance, Raphael (after buying his Bike regulator) spent the rest of the afternoon testing its efficiency.’’ The sentence above is bound to make less sense if a parenthetical statement is not utilized which means that parentheses are more appropriate being placed with the use of commas. If the parentheses have been integrated syntactically with the nearly sentences the end punctuation should appear only outside the entire parentheses (Geary, Rahman, Raman and Raman, 2006). However, a parenthetical statement does not at all times need to be integrated syntactically. For instance, John was raised in a big house (over 20 rooms, twenty foot) similarly to New York’s District. In the above statement ‘with’ was implied but then it was omitted at the parenthetical text start but the intended context is not altered.

    Parentheses appear to be similar to closer whispers in conveying a non-necessary and yet useful information in relation to the subject under discussion. The parentheses contain the same significance as the main text but its significance only appears in emphasizing the importance of the prime text (Geary, Rahman, Raman and Raman, 2006). Parentheses, therefore, offers the readers with more information without creating any form of further assertion to the end. This statement permits the readers to read through the passages or paragraphs continuously without having to account on whether the parenthetical information additional necessities their attention given that the information is rather complementary to the main content. Contrarily to brackets which mainly offers clarification for the quoted information, parentheses are in particular utilized in offering clarification or description of the content held in the major sentences in any kind of writing (Woods, 2006).

    Parenthesis usually creates more convincing statements given that they put the right in the most appropriate form from the beginning where the information is mainly read as the prime justification. However, the major function is to offer increased justifications while adding assertions (Woods, 2006). The repeated usage of parenthesis can result in focus thus making the parenthetical statements to be the dominant sentence features. In addition, this additionally provides readers with the prime insight into the actual sensation and characters opinion, while they usually incline to evade parenthetical data to be insignificant. With this occurrence, the parenthesis is bound to create cluelessness to the real sentence’s purpose. Further, more often this results in the creation of humorous implications by the utilization of understatements (Woods, 2006).

    Parentheses do not just imply to the enclosing of information within the round or square brackets.  In rhetoric realm, parenthesis means setting off text from the content that surrounds it in general (Straus, Kaufman & Stern, 2014). Parenthesis, therefore, occurs after, phrase, words or even clauses are placed into sentences in the quest of elaborating or justifying a thing that has been stated within the major sentence. These sentence does not necessarily have to be compatible grammatically with the terms occurring on any given side of the subject given that it can be separated using either parenthesis, comma or dashes as well. In the sentence below parentheses has been utilized in justifying what appears prior. ‘’ to all those that they spoke too, (primarily those that possess reasonable intelligence) came to the agreement that their preparations and plans were the most strategic by far.’’ In this sentence, it is apparent that the speaker feels the major need of making some modification to the initial thoughts by opting to justify them with facts and honesty despite the fact that it ends up conveniently supporting one side. In the beginning, the speaker states that all those that were spoken to agreed but found the necessity of classifying the group by terming it to those that had reliable intelligence and the statement clarifies the intention of the message even further without creating any form of complication. Parentheses, therefore, create a desirable rhetorical impact of the speaker’s statement in a way. In reality, the parenthetical statements generate inclusive and authoritative attention which makes the claims immediately convincing. This results in placing the readers to the actual mode from the general beginning so that when the parentheses are introduced it is read as an insignificant but helpful qualification a commentary to the authoritative main claim (Straus, Kaufman & Stern, 2014).

    Parentheses is spoken and spoken with lesser emphasis than all the other parts of the sentences thus it grows to be an excellent approach while making some significant qualifications that weakness or limits the initial speaker’s claims thus being deemed as less significant (Straus, Kaufman & Stern, 2014). Parenthesis can thus be perceived as a more understated form of fine and structured contents. In addition to being complementary parentheses can additionally act in the creation of humorous effects. For example ‘’ the president stated that the nation’s enemy (by which he was referring to Russia) was massing (meaning massive nuclear) which is an appropriate action to the general wellness of the global security therefore appropriate actions were to be taken. Despite the fact that the devices use and the enemy state is being limited within the sentence the effectiveness of the parentheses is apparent. In the sentence, the author effectively separates the original words from the speaker’s commentary or sentiments in regard to what was the major information that was being intended. Assumptions are separated which makes it apparent and offers more clarity to the readers while preserving the original statements and meaning (Straus, Kaufman & Stern, 2014).

    Parentheses often give readers major insights into the actual feelings and thoughts by offering both facts as well as opinions from the speaker. While the readers might perceive parenthetical information to be of less importance, this can create fewer clues in regard to the real objective of the provided phrase (Wallwork, 2012). The use of parentheses occurs structurally in covering the minor subjects under the major subject that are accounted to be possessing relative low importance. Despite their insignificances, they have the capability of distracting the readers from the major views. Therefore if the sentence necessitates incidental information then the information must be set off with commas or even dashes in enhancing effectiveness. In this context, the information should mainly be placed within separated sentences that have no parentheses. Since parenthesis signs are a pair one for the opening and the other closing one should never be utilized without the other. This involves the use of alphabetized or a numbered outline. A period should also be placed outside the closing parentheses if the information held inside does not contribute to the intention of the major sentence (Wallwork, 2012). In addition, if the parenthetical statement is the part of a contribution to the major sentence then the first letter should not be capitalized or the sentence completed with any period. However, if the parenthetical sentence has to end with a punctuation such as an exclamation the period should appear after the parenthesis (Wallwork, 2012). Further, if the information under the parentheses is a sentence that is independent then the first world should be capitalized while the period is placed prior to the closing parenthesis.

    In summary, parentheses refer to a word, clause, sentence or phrase which is usually explanatory of direct, placed into the passage where it is not connected grammatically and it is marked off with the use of dashes or brackets. Parentheses do not affect the meaning of sentences in the context that even with their absence the passage or sentences would still deliver. However, they provide further information or speaker’s point of view regarding the subject which is essential in persuading or winning the attention of the audience. Parentheses represent punctuation marks that are utilized in separating relevant data or comments from the other text or to enclose numerical and alphabetical symbols or texts inside the parentheses marks.







Aurelio, S. J. (2004). How to say it and write it correctly now: The ultimate reference book, containing practical grammar, punctuation & spelling rules, homonyms, medical terms, layperson's legal dictionary, major art terms-- and more. Austin, Tex: Synergy Books.

Covey, S. R., & England, B. (2012). FranklinCovey style guide for business and technical communication. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FranklinCovey.

Dorfman, L. R., & Cappelli, R. (2009). Nonfiction mentor texts: Teaching informational writing through children's literature, K-8. Portland, Me: Stenhouse Publishers.

Konurbaev, M. E. (2015). Style and timbre of English speech and literature. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Putnam, J., & Pak, M. (2005). Test prep grade 8: High-interest skill building for home and school. Huntington Beach.

Richard F. Geary, Rahman, N., Raman, R., and Raman, V. (2006). A Simple Optimal Representation for Balanced Parentheses. Preprint submitted to Theoretical Computer Science. Pdf

Woods, G. (2006). Webster's New World punctuation: Simplified and applied. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Straus, J., Kaufman, L., & Stern, T. (2014). The blue book of grammar and punctuation: An easy-to-use guide with clear rules, real-world examples, and reproducible quizzes. John Wiley & Sons.

Wallwork, A. (2012). English for research: Usage, style, and grammar. New York, NY [u.a.: Springer.

3313 Words  12 Pages

            According to Perry, culture and language are the two core thoughts of a linguistic society. Culture is the working system for the linguistic community that enhances the union with humans and with nature as well as with the way of thinking that gives an outlook to the modern way of living. Language on the other hand acts like a technology that is the most powerful tool that shapes our thoughts (Perry 2016). Language is important since it helps to shape the reality around us and within us; hence it contributes towards our thinking. Language is thus an essential gift to the human beings and it is core to their experiences.

            It is amazing on how language is important in human development as stated by Perry. It is thus important to appreciate the role that language plays in the construction of the human mental lives as it will enhance us to understand the nature of humanity in general. It is true that there is a revolution in our culture and emphasis on linguistics has changed thus resulting to difficulties in learning of new languages (Perry 2016). Reasoning element in humans is influenced by language and this affects the way they experience their emotions, keep track on the numbers, their understanding and perception on the issues.

            Language shapes our brains in so many ways all through our lives. Language increases the memory of the mind thus enhancing our adjustment towards the way we perceive the world. Thus having learnt new languages strengthens our minds and broadens the manner in which we see things. The brain thus can be able to think as new language is learnt, it increases the understanding power of the brain.




Perry P. (2016). Does the Language We Speak Affect Our Perception of Reality? Retrieved from:


300 Words  1 Pages

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

  1. Acculturation and assimilation are the two methods which are used to allow culturally and Linguistically Students (CLD), to be able to embrace the new culture (Collier, 2011). Even though both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, acculturation is the best method which can be used by teachers in order to embrace the new culture (Chapter 1, part 1). Acculturation is the best method simply because, CLD students can be able to adapt to the new type of life at ease, even though sometimes it becomes stressing, but they can slowly be able to understand how to adapt and carry on with their school lives (Haynes, 2012). Moreover, they can also be able to learn new ways on how to deal with their counterparts, and thus being able to avoid being stressed.

Acculturation has four stages, which a person passes through in order to fully understand and adapt to the new type of life (Berry, 2011). The first stage which is honey, is the stage whereby the student thinks positively about moving to the US, and thus his or her mind is filled with all sorts of positive ideas (Chapter 1, part 2). The second stage is hostility, this is the stage whereby the student gets what he or she did not expect, and this therefore makes the student to be stressed. The third stage is home, this is where the students starts adapting to the new culture and thus being able to embrace it. The final stage in humour, this is the stage whereby the student accepts the new culture, and the new culture also accepts the student, and life becomes enjoyable (Haynes, 2012). Unlike assimilation, acculturation enables the student to be able to slowly adapt to the new culture without any pressure at all. Moreover, the student is not supposed to forget about his past culture through acculturation, but assimilation requires one to the previous culture, in order to embrace the new culture.

  1. English Learners (ELs) acquire the new language through different ways, and this depends with the way their minds adapt to the new environment. Through communicative ways, an EL can be able to acquire language skills, first by getting the new word, and then translating it into the language that he or she better understands, before coming up with an answer. Moreover, the person can also be able to understand the patterns of the new language, even though it might be hard for the person to be able to pronounce the words, the person may therefore understand the way the new language forms through understanding the language patterns (Haynes, 2012).

On the other hand, according to the second language approach, the student first and foremost uses the second language as a means of communication in most cases (Chapter 3). This is one of the way that the learner can be able to familiar with the new language, through making his or her mind to understand the new language and thus being able to easily understand the new language. In addition, the human mind first grasps whatever information it has hard, and then it internalizes it, then comes up with a reason or a meaning of the word, before the person can be able to reply or answer the question being asked. Understanding this, therefore enables teachers to be able to understand the way students can easily be able to understand the new language, and thus being of help to them (Collier, 2011).

  1. Understanding the cultural values which are essential for understanding the behaviours of students’, and the services which cultural competent persons might require (Berry, 2011). This is one of the possible ways through which one can be able to fully understand how he or she can be able to relate with a cultural competent family (Chapter 6, part 1). The person therefore needs to develop characteristics which can help in creating a good relationship between the persons from a cultural competent family. This therefore means, that the person can be able to provide assistance to the family, and thus being of positive impact to the family. Moreover, the person should be able to work according to the way the family behaves. Thus making them to feel freely with the person around (Haynes, 2012). Hence sharing different ideas with the person, and hence making it easy for the person to be able to understand the weaknesses of the family.

Secondly, understand the values of that the family shares, and thus be able to work according to the dictates of those values (Collier, 2011). This is one of the ways of making sure that you get to fully understand the type of people you are working with, and thus being able to deal with each one’s problems (Chapter 6, part 2). Furthermore, communicate with the family in the language that each and every member fully understands, in order to fit in such a family, and thus being able to slowly change and teach each member the new language. In addition, use the native language of the family and translate it into English, in order to make sure that it sticks in their minds (Haynes, 2012).


Chapter 1. (part 1&2). Multidimensional Foundation of Methods for CLD Students.

Chapter 3. Linguistic Dimension of Methods for CLD Students.

Chapter 6. (part 1&2). Planning and Grounding Instructional Methodology.

Haynes, Jerri. (2012). Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children. Xlibris Corp.

Berry, A. L. (2011). Effecting change intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Collier, C. (2011). Seven steps to separating difference from disability.

926 Words  3 Pages


 “I am sorry miss, I don’t have time to talk,” said Professor Brian impatiently.

“But you must talk to me sir,” said June pleadingly. She took hold of his arm and held him as forcefully as she could.

“Please let me go!” demanded the professor.

“I won’t let you go not until you listen to me first,” June stated steadily.

“Children of this generation will never seize to amaze me” murmured the professor.

“What’s happening here?” asked Tom, a colleague of Professor Brian.

This crazy lady is insisting on talking with me yet I have no time to talk to strangers,” said Professor Brian annoyingly.

“A stranger?” asked June shockingly.

“Now who is speaking the truth, professor are you sure that you don’t know this lady?” asked Tom confusedly.

“He is pretending that he does not know me,” June interrupted rudely.

“Can you please tell her to unhand me it’s really shameful,” said the professor.

“I just need ten minutes of your time,” June pleaded.

“Okay then, I will allow you to have my ten minutes make sure that every minute counts,” said the professor.

“Was that hard to do in the first place? You have wasted a lot of time arguing here,” tom said irritably.

“I’m sorry, Professor Brian. The last thing that your students and employer wants to hear is the ill-informed speculations about you”.

“That is good and well thoughtful of you,” said Professor Brian convincingly.

“I have had my fears of this issue for a very long time,” said June.

“I can sense that this will take a whole day the story seems endless,” said Tom jokingly.

“No! It will just take few more minutes; I am your biological child! ” said June convincingly.

“What is happening” Tom complained. “Come on give us a break, everybody knows how faithful professor Brian is and that he is a married man of only two children and definitely that’s not you, “ said Tom confidently.

I know that he is a reputable man and everyone admires him for being a family man, but it is only true to say that things are not usually the way they appear to be, is that right daad?” asked June sarcastically.

“Surely there must be a proof as you cannot expect us to believe all this nonsense,” said Tom annoyingly.

“Can all of you stop arguing!” shouted Professor Brian.

“What took you so long to come to me? I thought you went to live in Quebec, Canada,” said Professor Brian softly.

“I always tried to reach out to you but you are a hard man who hardly has time for anyone,” said June softly.

“Ooh my God, the stranger is someone’s daughter,” said Tom jokingly.

“Yes Tom, she is my first born daughter we separated with her mother long before I got married and I never knew that she was pregnant not until recently,” said professor Brian.

“Why didn’t you come to find me?” asked June sorrowfully.

“I was not sure that I was ready to face you yet,” said Professor Brian apologetically.

“I just needed your acknowledgement as a father, I am sorry for taking much of your time,” said June looking at her watch.

Not at all June I have all the time for you, said Professor Brian caringly.

 Embracing her daughter they all shed tears of joy.











577 Words  2 Pages

Imitation Essay

The use of diction in this literary writing succeeds in creating the expected texture or color in a written work. In the third paragraph, diction indicates the author’s choice of words and determines or reflects the formality level intended by the author and his intention to shape the perception of the reader.  Poor choice of words could have made the text to be ambiguous so that it does not allow the reader to get its meaning. This shows that the author has the understanding of their literary style that can help in drawing the attention of the reader to the meaning of the text. A lack of repetitive choice of words makes the author to appear credible and able to use the right and inexpensive adjectives to describe the context of the narrative. In the same paragraph, the selection of words is properly done - the light of the sun gradually spread from one side to another until the colorful sky was embellished by a layer of bright, golden light that touched the places my eyes laid upon- and enables the writer to follow the same style.

Rather than choosing inexpensive words, incompetent writers will choose unnecessary diction style which makes it impossible for them to illustrate occurrences in a literary text effectively and the result is lack of interest by readers in such works. What is needed is a concise selection of words which will make it easy for the reader to follow through the text while captivating their attention in the whole text (Spangler, Mary and Werner, 7).  Furthermore, ineffective selection of diction means that the author is able to focus on their own style event in areas that it may seem impossible to do so. In the paragraph, the bringing together of many attributes while describing the objects could have been avoided for a concise understanding.  


Works cited

Spangler, Mary S, and Rita R. Werner. The Structured Essay: A Formula for Writing. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2002. Print.

334 Words  1 Pages


The Glass Menagerie           

            In Tennessee William’s “memory play” The Glass Menagerie, we see a dysfunctional family who as a result of their patriarch’s desertion live constrained within their own unhappiness. Tom feels that the source of his woes was imprisonment by having to support his family when in reality it is the guilt of leaving his sister behind; Amanda is unhappy with her children because they do not follow the path that she wants them to take but deep down she is unhappy with the choices she made in her life, and Laura thinks all of her distress is due to being crippled when it really is about an inferiority complex.

            In this play, we must first keep in mind that this is a “memory play” that comes from the perspective of Tom’s recollections. Tom is both a character and the narrator who tells a story about a time in his life where he felt his unhappiness came from his feelings of being trapped by having to carry the weight of his family’s entire responsibilities. We see this theme of his imprisonment in the following passage from scene three during an altercation with his mother, Amanda.

                        TOM. What in Christ’s name am I—

                        AMANDA. (Shrilly) Don’t you use that—

                        TOM. Supposed to do!

                        AMANDA. Expression! Not in my—

                        TOM. Ohhh!

                        AMANDA. Presence! Have you gone out of your senses?

                        TOM. I have, that’s true, driven out!

                        AMANDA. What is the matter with you, you—big—big—IDIOT!

                        TOM. Look—I’ve got no thing, no single thing—

                        AMANDA. Lower your voice!

                        TOM. In my life here that I can call my OWN! Everything is—

                        AMANDA. Stop that shouting!

                        TOM. Yesterday you confiscated my books! You had the nerve to—

                        AMANDA. I took that horrible novel back to the library—yes! That                                   hideous book by that insane Mr. Lawrence. (Tom laughs wildly.) I                          cannot control the output of diseased minds or people who cater to                               them—(Tom laughs still more wildly.) BUT I WON’T ALLOW SUCH                    FILTH BROUGHT INTO MY HOUSE! No, no, no, no, no!

                        TOM. House, house! Who pays rent on it, who makes a slave of                             himself to—            (2302)

            In this passage, Tom is growing tired of his mother’s constant nagging and points out that he does not have a life of his own, that everything is being taken away from him, even the simple pleasures such as reading a book despite sacrificing himself to support his family. These resentments, at the time seemed to be the main reason behind his affliction and drove him to find a way out in pursue of happiness. We find proof of this in the following passage from scene six during a conversation with his friend Jim O’Connor.

                        TOM. I’m starting to boil inside. I know I seem dreamy, but inside—                                 well, I’m boiling! Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking              how short life is and what I am doing!—Whatever that means. I know                                   it doesn’t mean shoes—except as something to wear on traveler’s feet!                                   (Finds paper.) Look—

                        JIM. What?

                        TOM. I’m a member.

                        JIM. (reading) The Union of Merchant Seamen.

                        TOM. I paid my dues this month, instead of the light bill. (2321)

            Tom thought that by getting out and joining the Merchant Marines would fix his problems and make him happy but by leaving, ultimately led him to realize that his real source of unhappiness was the guilt and haunting memory of deserting Laura just like his father before him. We find evidence of this during scene seven when Tom breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience once again with his closing speech, which goes as follows:

                        TOM. I didn't go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the                                     longest distance between places—Not long after that I was fired for                                    writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left Saint Louis. I descended the                            step of this fire-escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my                          father's footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space—I                               travelled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves,                         leaves that were brightly colored but tom away from the branches. I would                         have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me                             unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of                 music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass—Perhaps I am                            walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found                            companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold.                             The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles                           in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my                                    sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes...Oh,                          Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I                                intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the                              movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger—anything                             that can blow your candles out! (Laura bends over the candles.)—for                                 nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura—                              and so good-bye… (2337 – 2338)

            Tom never imagined he would be so loyal to Laura in the sense that even though he left he took her memory wherever he went. Laura became a constant reminder of his guilt, which was ultimately the true cause of his unhappiness according to his recollections.

Further, Toms unhappiness is depicted in the way he seems haunted by his resolve to abandon his family and go out to search for adventure. Tom’s actions guide the reader and presents a tone of anxiety and guilty and empathy can be seen in the entire play .His unhappiness is centered on resentment for the responsibilities that he bears on behalf of his family. Knowing that he has the responsibility to help in supporting his family is one such source of unhappiness. Considering that helping to support the family is not his obligation, he is full of resentment for his mother’s constant nagging about his life, job and future.  This bitterness that he harbors inside can be seen running over to the one thing that is an inhibition at home, Laura his crippled sister. He fills unhappy because of the knowledge of his love for her and she needs him. However, Tom is unable to help Laura and so runs away. In doing so, he choose his dreams over the reality of the needs of his family.  In addition, his dull life and job make him to remain cynical and unhappy. Even after trying to take night classes, he seems not really satisfied by anything and he ponders that being a writer will enable him escape this mundane life and be able to find adventure. He lacks the trait of a hero and thus leaves his family behind and more so abandons handicapped and innocent sister Laura. In retelling the story, he is unable to be happy and peaceful until he can forgive himself. Where ever he goes after running away he feels the touch of Laura on his shoulder.“I turn around and look into her eyes.  Oh, Laura, I tried to leave you behind, but I am more faithful than I intended to be.”

            In the case of Amanda, we see an overbearing mother who is discontented with her children because they do not follow the path that she wants them to take. She wanted Laura to attend Rubicam’s Business College to obtain a business career or to get married, which is revealed on the following passage from the second scene after finding out that her daughter had been deceiving her and had dropped out of college.

                        AMANDA. (hopelessly fingering the huge pocketbook). So what are we                             going to do the rest of our lives? Stay home and watch the parades go by?                          Amuse ourselves with the glass menagerie, darling? Eternally play those                            worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of                                him? We wont have a business career—we’ve given that up because it                                    gave us nervous indigestion! (Laughs wearily.) What is there left but                            dependency all our lives? I know so well what becomes of unmarried                                 women who aren’t prepared to occupy a position. I’ve seen such pitiful                              cases in the South—barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging                            patronage of sister’s husband or brother’s wife!—stuck away in some                              little mousetrap of a room—encouraged by one in-law to visit                                           another—little birdlike women without any nest—eating the crust of                                 humility all their life! Is that the future that we’ve mapped out for                           ourselves? I swear it’s the only way alternative I can think of! It isn’t a                               very pleasant alternative, is it? Of course—some girls do marry. (Laura               twists her hands nervously.) Haven’t you ever liked some boy?

                        (2299 – 2300)

            She wanted Tom to stop jeopardizing their security and worried he was following his father’s footsteps by being out late at night. Amanda also wanted him to find his sister a gentleman caller, as a backup plan for Laura and herself. In scene four, we find the following passage that proves this.

                        AMANDA. Oh, I can see the handwriting on the wall as plain as I see                                the nose in front of my face! It’s terrifying! More and more you remind                        me of   your father! He was out all hours without explanation—Then                               left! Good-bye! And me with the bag to hold. I saw that letter you got                                from the Merchant Marine. I know what you’re dreaming of. I’m not                               standing here blindfolded. Very well, then. Then do it! But not till                          there’s somebody to take your place. (2308)

Amanda’s discontent with her children it’s nothing but the surface of a much deeper affair attributed to her past. Her real source of unhappiness comes from the regret of the choices she made in her life, by marrying Mr. Wingfield. We have to take in consideration that Amanda, in her prime had a very fortunate lifestyle in the South. She brags about having seventeen gentlemen callers at once in one occasion, among them were distinguished young planters of the Mississippi Delta. Amanda could have had it all by marrying one of her prominent suitors but instead she chose to marry Mr. Winfield, the man who ended up deserting her.  We can see in the following passage from scene one when she is bragging about her youth to her children during a dinner conversation.

                        AMANDA. That Fitzhugh boy went North and made a fortune—came to                           be known as the Wolf of Wall Street! He had the Midas touch,                                                 whatever he touched turned to gold! And I could have been Mrs.                           Duncan J. Fitzhugh, mind you! But— I picked your father! (2297)

Amanda’s unhappiness stems from living in a world that is fluctuating between reality and illusion. She closes her eyes to the real and brutal world when a situation is convenient to her.  She is, however, unable to live in this illusion forever. She has to face the pressures of everyday life than comes with many unpleasant facts. The condition of Laura is a major source of her unhappiness as seen in her assertions that "I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren't prepared to occupy a position."  She is faced with the reality of her daughter’s position even if she cannot acknowledge her disability.  Moreover, she has read the letter that was sent to Tom by Merchant Marine and is aware that he will be leaving them soon.  Her life is full of other impossibilities.  She wishes that her children could get the best out of life but cannot understand that what she wants varies largely from what they want most.  Her refusal to acknowledge that she is very different from her children is a cause for unhappiness and a lot of unhappy moments. She is unable to understand why Laura cannot have charm and gaiety. Her idea of charm is very different from that of her daughter’s idea. She can manage to be exceptionally lively at any time while Lauran is confined in sensitive and quiet world.  The final analysis can present her as being frivolous but it’s because of her past life. When she was deserted by her husband, she encountered a meaningless and empty life, which was the beginning of her misery and unhappiness. She resulted to fabricating things so as to fill the void in her life. By devoting too much to her kids and living through them she missed a point. She was reliving her life and therefore failed to understand varied personalities possessed by her children and made Tom to escape from home. This further added to her unhappiness.

            Regarding Laura, she attributes all of her distress to being crippled. For instance, when her mother tells her that she should find a nice man to marry since she is not meant for a business career Laura gives her mother the excuse of being crippled. Laura is constantly exaggerating the extent of her physical disability. She has one leg slightly shorter than the other which is nothing that should keep her from finishing her education or isolating herself in her own world of little glass animals and playing old phonograph’s records. It is not until Jim O’Connor, her high school crush comes over for dinner that she realizes that her real problem and the reason why she has been so unhappy is just an inferiority complex.

                        JIM. You know what I judge to be the trouble with you? Inferiority                                    complex! (2330)

                        JIM. Yep—that’s what I judge to be your principal trouble. A lack of                                 confidence in yourself. I’m basing that fact on a number of your                                         remarks and also on certain observations I’ve made. For instance, that                             clumping you thought was so awful in high school. You say that you                                  even dreaded to walk into class. You see what you did? You dropped                               out of school, you gave up an education because of a clump, which as                                     far as I know was practically nonexistent! A little physical defect is                                    what you have. Hardly noticeable even! Magnified thousands of times                                by imagination! (2330)

            These passages strengthen the idea that Laura’s convictions of her problems revolving around her physical disability were absurd and that in reality it was simply a lack of confidence. Laura’s memory of her wonderful loving parents make her to create a fake world of her own, so that she could live within it and having  not to feel the discomfort and pain that results from a harsh real world. Laura’s unhappiness can be traced from her parents’ perception that she was the reason they could no longer remain happy. The parents took the presence of Laura as something that would break their loving union, which rapidly became a memory.   In her adult life, she is unable to find happiness in a realistic world; in a similar manner her parents could no longer experience happiness due to her presence. Her disability makes her feel rejected always and everywhere and she feels that she is in a cage. Furthermore, she feels that she cannot be as good as her mother, Amanda. Amanda was very popular in her young age .Upon asserting that she was anticipating no gentlemen callers, her mother looks astonished, in their seemingly frequent conversation. She asserts that 'I'm not popular like you were”.  Laura unhappiness comes from her fear of the rejection she may face in a real world; she uses her handicap condition to hide from the real world. In fact, she takes the role of a victim which right suits her reason of withdrawing from the reality and thus living a happy but fake world. When she is offered a chance to enroll in a business college so that she can be a secretary and earn money and therefore, detach from her family’s rejective world , she choose to drop out of college and hence remain cage in her paranoid world. This further contributes to her unhappiness.  



The unhappiness noted in the play can be attributed to the difficulty the aforementioned characters have in accepting reality and relating to it. Tom fails to accept the responsibility bestowed on him to take care of the needs of the family, even if it is not his obligation. He cannot be happy due to guilty of abandoning his family more so his crippled sister Laura. Amanda’s unhappiness can be attributed to living through her children so since she was deserted by her husband. She wants the best for her children but cannot understand that her life and theirs are quite different and her. Laura’s unhappiness stems from her shyness and lack of confidence which makes her act the victim of circumstances she is in. The theme of unhappiness is, nevertheless, a reflection of a normal family in a real world.  











2834 Words  10 Pages
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