Glass menagerie

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The Glass Menagerie A Tennessee William's play based on the depression decades of the thirties. Set in a small cramped apartment of St. Louis. A simple four characters whose lives seem to consist in avoiding reality more than facing it. Where each characters escape clearly defined by the aura of the 'memory play.' This is so because every one of them changed their difficult situations into shadows of truth. None of the characters is capable of living entirely in the present. All retreat into their separate worlds to escape the brutality of life.

I believe the playwright has done remarkable use of symbols, tensions, and irony. He uses all of these components to express to what I think is the main theme of the play, of the hopeful desire followed by unavoidable disappointments. All of the characters have dreams, which are destroyed by the harsh realities of the world. As the narrator admits in his opening of the play, "since I have a poet's weakness for symbols," symbols merely used to express a particular theme, idea or character.

One which is I think is the major symbol is the fire escape, which has a separate function for each characters. This fire escape provides a means of escape for Tom from his cramped apartment and nagging mother. Therefore the fire escape for him represents a path to the outside world where dreams are. For the gentleman caller Jim the fire escape provides the means through which Jim can enter the Wingfield's apartment an entrance to their lives. For Amanda, Tom's mom, the fire escape allows Jim to come into the apartment and prevent Laura from becoming a spinster. For Laura, Tom's sister is that it is her door to the inside world in where she can hide. It is ironic that...