The Glass Managerie: Character Analysis Of Laura W

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Out of all of the characters in The Glass Menagerie Laura Wingfield seems to lead the saddest life. "A childhood illness has left her crippled, one leg slightly shorter then the other, and held in a brace." It is because of this that she seems to withdraw into her own little world, isolated from everyone else. More and more, everyday, she becomes like a piece of glass in her own menagerie, weak and fragile to the touch, using her crippled leg as means of escape. She seemingly avoids all of the characters in some degree, but she has a strong bond with her brother, Tom, who is great deal of help to Laura and her mother. In scene two, Laura reveals that she once liked a boy, Jim O'Connor, who later turns out to be the gentlemen caller that Tom has invited home from work. Jim accidentally breaks one of Laura's favorite glass figurines while dancing with her.

After he sympathetically gives her a kiss it seems as though Laura might emerge from her imaginary world. But, in a flash he reveals that he is engaged to be married and Laura quickly retreats back into her imaginary world for good. Through out the entire play Laura shows a severe lack of self-esteem. She seems to be shy, and frightened. Not only is she physically crippled, but more seemly emotionally crippled. She resembles each of her glass animals, weak, fragile, and ultimately breakable.