The Glass Menagerie

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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The Glass Menagerie; An Interpretation The Glass Menagerie, the tittle of a play by Tennessee Williams is also used as a subjective point of reference throughout the play. A piece in the collection can be looked at a symbol for one of each of the five main characters. The beginning of the play opens and is grounded in the connection between Lora and the glass menagerie. Specifically, the unicorn, a mythical and romanticized animal, represents Lora. From this starting point of connecting the unicorn to Lora, we are better able to understand and interpret the end of an otherwise problematic conclusion of the play and it's implications for Lora's future.

In the beginning of the play, we can see Lora's love for the glass menagerie. Lora expresses her emotions towards the menagerie with the amount of time and care she devotes to its care. The reader can take a leap to say that the glass menagerie is a symbol of Lora's world.

This interpretation is suggested since the glass menagerie is by definition incomplete and unfinished, nor does it serve a human function. Objectively, it is an artificial collection of objects. This corresponds to Lora's life, in that she has not completed school or found a husband. Since these events are a fundamental part of personal growth and maturity, the relationship between the menagerie and Lora becomes more transparent. Just as the glass unicorn is transparent, we can see through Lora's exterior representations and her futile attempts to conceal her insecurities. A contrast that Williams' uses to draw attention to the contradiction's in Lora's world is when Lora prepares herself before the gentleman caller comes to visit Lora. Lora's appearance is compared to a rainbow; however, the rainbow is itself illusory just as the rainbows created in the...