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The Glass Menagerie

Autor:   •  April 26, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,240 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,073 Views

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Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, uses a pattern of reoccurring symbols that describes the characters life. Williams inspiration for the play is his own life and gives the characters a unique personally that describes the problems that he encountered during his lifetime. Also, each character had a symbol which resembled their personality. Glass,light,movies and the past present the dominant motifs that ultimately reveal deep aspects of the characters and hidden themes of the play. The characters struggle with life on a daily basis, but hold on the certain objects or ideas to try and separate themselves from reality

Williams introduces Laura as a very fragile,shy and emotionally crippled girl. Not only is Laura emotionally crippled, she is physically crippled with a clubbed foot. Laura is a single woman with no confidence, who is stuck living in a crummy house with her mother, being constantly downgraded without recollection. This constant battering and lack of self-esteem is the reason for her fragility. Williams expresses her fragility, as Laura says ’’ I did not have the courage! I wanted to find a hole in the ground and hide myself in it for ever!’’ (8). The symbol of the glass menagerie is a perfect example of Laura´s fragile state of mind. She lives in a world of glass animals, where the smallest push or knock could lead to total destruction. Laura is able to move and manipulate the animals much like her mother is able to control Laura with her words and actions. The menagerie also expresses the idea of isolation, as the animals are placed in a safe place away from danger. The glass unicorn is the most dominant symbol of Laura out of all the animals. The unicorn is a unique and fantasized animal which represents the separation that Laura has with reality. When Laura and Jim, the gentleman caller meet, Laura finally encounters someone from the real world. As they danced together,Jim accidentally breaks the unicorn’s horn. Laura replies by saying that ’’ Now he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones that don't have horns’’ (58). It seems that Laura is finally trying to escape from her fantasy world. Jim later explains that he cannot be with her by announcing his engagement. The news immediately sends Laura back into her solitary lifestyle with no hope of breaking free, in unity with her glass menagerie.

Tom is the main economic supporter of the family and is living a life that has no significant meaning. Tom is constantly trying to escape from the constraints he is bound to, yet always ends up coming back due to his relationship with his sister Laura. His attempt to connect with the real world is highlighted by his journeys to the movie theatre, where Tom is able to fantasize about a life full of adventure. His mother Amanda criticizes Tom about his exertions, which angers Tom to no end. Tom’s


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