the glass menagerie

Essay by r_tordilHigh School, 11th gradeB+, October 2014

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Ronnel Tordil

ELA 20

Mr. R. Sharp

Symbolism of the characters in The Glass Menagerie

Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known as Tennessee Williams, the playwright of The Glass Menagerie frequently uses symbols; we could argue that the most prominent symbol also serves as the title of the play. The animal collection symbolizes the characters in The Glass Menagerie.

Laura Wingfield is a crippled girl and the very shy daughter of Amanda who tries hard to find Laura a husband. Laura is a girl who has collection of the glass animals that represent her fragile state. The unicorn is the favorite of Laura which represent her fragile condition. She is more breakable than her glass collection, in the sense of that she recoils at the slightest social challenge and runs away. Laura escapes from her disability. She is very uncomfortable in her own life and skin, so when she escapes, she is escaping from having to live her life with a disability and never truly feeling happy or comfortable in her life.

"Like her mother and brother, Laura retreats from reality. She's so far departed that she can't even see reality anymore. She spends her days going to the zoo, or polishing her glass, or playing records. She has no social interaction, and even her brother, Tom, who clearly cares for her, doesn't really break into her little world. Until Jim. Laura opens up to Jim in a way that she hasn't done with anyone else. He recognizes that she is unique that's where this Blue Roses business fits in. Have you ever seen a blue rose? Exactly. Jim recognizes that Laura is one-in-a-million. Jim appreciates her for who she is. And she loves him for it". (Shmoop Editorial Team)

Jim O'Conner symbolizes a dog, because he is a normal...