Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Glass Menagerie is an interesting play about a family during the Great Depression. It was written by Tennessee Williams. The family, which included the mother, Amanda Wingfield; her daughter, Laura; and her son, Tom. They all live in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda, a deserted wife, lives in a world of dreams and illusions. She wants Tom and Laura to succeed but nags constantly. She refuses to accept the fact that Laura is crippled and may become a spinster. Laura is a delicate and sensitive person. She is ashamed of her handicap. She becomes physically ill because of her shyness. Tom has the most responsiblity in the house. Because his father left the family, he must make the money to support the family. He goes to the movies to get away from Amanda's constant nagging but eventually abandons the family. The symbol in the story, Laura's collection of glass figures, symbolize the characters' emotions and reactions.

One major example of this is Laura. She is a shy and nervous person. In her glass menagerie, she has a collection of glass horses. The horses represent ordinary people. With her horses, she has one unicorn, which represents her. Both are unique in their own way. The irony in this is the unicorn is her favorite piece in her collection.

Jim O'Connor, the gentleman caller, is also an example of how the menagerie symbolizes the characters. When he visits with Laura in the living room, the bring up recollection of high school. The menagerie is also filled with memories. Jim is symbolized as one of the ordinary horses. When Laura warms up to him, he makes her feel like one of the ordinary horses. This is when her unicorn breaks.

The Glass Menagerie her many examples of symbolism. The play aslo has many things that are realsiticabout the Great Depression. Family problems are also realistic and many people can relate to them. If a person thinks their family is strange, this play can make them think differently.