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The Glass Menagerie: Symbols Essay, Research Paper

The Glass Menagerie: Symbols

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The drama The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many symbols

which represent many different things. Many of the symbols used in the drama attempt

to typify some signifier of flight or difference between world and semblance.

The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire flight. This

represents the & # 8220 ; span & # 8221 ; between the illusive universe of the Wingfields and the

universe of world. This & # 8220 ; span & # 8221 ; seems to be a one manner transition. But the way

varies for each character. For Tom, the fire flight is the manner out of the universe

of Amanda and Laura and an entryway into the universe of world. For Laura, the

fire flight is a manner into her universe. A manner to get away from world. Both illustrations

can readily be seen: Tom will stand outside on the fire flight to smoke, demoing

that he does non wish to be indoors, to be a portion of the illusional universe. Laura,

on the other manus, thinks of the fire flight as a manner in and non a manner out. This

can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to travel to the shop: Laura trips on the fire

flight. This besides shows that Laura & # 8217 ; s frights and emotions greatly affect her

physical status, more so than normal people.

Another symbol presented trades more with Tom than any of the other characters:

Tom & # 8217 ; s wont of traveling to the films shows us his yearning to go forth the flat

and caput out into the universe of world. A topographic point where 1 can happen escapade.

And Tom, being a poet, can understand the demands of adult male to hanker for escapade and

love affair. But he is kept from come ining world by Amanda, who criticizes him as

being a & # 8220 ; selfish dreamer. & # 8221 ; But, Tom has made stairss to get away into world by

reassigning the payment of a light measure to pay for his dues in the Merchant

Seaman & # 8217 ; s Union.

Another symbol, which deals with both Amanda and Laura, is Jim O & # 8217 ; Connor. To

Laura, Jim represents the one thing she fears and does non desire to confront, world.

Jim is a perfect illustration of & # 8220 ; the common man. & # 8221 ; A individual with no existent outst


quality. In fact, Jim is instead awkward, which can be seen when he dances with

Laura. To Amanda, Jim represents the yearss of her young person, when she went larking

about picking jonquils and purportedly holding & # 8220 ; 17 gentlemen companies on one

Sunday afternoon. & # 8221 ; Although Amanda desires to see Laura settled down with a nice

immature adult male, it is difficult to state whether she wanted a gentleman company to be

invited for Laura or for herself.

One symbol which is instead obvious is Laura & # 8217 ; s glass menagerie. Her aggregation of

glass represents her ain private universe. Set apart from world, a topographic point where

she can conceal and be safe. The events that happen to Laura & # 8217 ; s glass affects

Laura & # 8217 ; s emotional province greatly. When Amanda tells Laura to pattern typewriting,

Laura alternatively plays with her glass. When Amanda is heard walking up the fire

flight, she rapidly hides her aggregation. She does this to conceal her secret universe

from the others. When Tom leaves to travel to the films in an enraged haste, he

by chance breaks some of Laura & # 8217 ; s glass. The tattered glass represents

Laura & # 8217 ; s apprehension of Tom & # 8217 ; s duties to her. Besides, the unicorn, which

is of import, represents Laura straight. Laura points out to Jim that the

unicorn is different, merely as she is different. She besides points out that the

unicorn does non kick of being different, as she does non kick either.

And when Jim breaks the horn off the unicorn, Laura points out that now it is

like the other Equus caballuss, merely as Laura has shed some of her shyness and go

more normal. When she hands the broken unicorn to Jim, this might stand for

Laura handing over her broken love to Jim, as Jim has revealed that he is

engaged to be married.

As can be seen, there are rather a few symbols in this drama. And a figure of them

hold diverse significances. Most of these symbols have a direct significance in the

writer & # 8217 ; s ain life. This is apprehensible seeing that the drama is supposed to be

& # 8220 ; memory play. & # 8221 ; It is obvious that this memory drama is based on Williams & # 8217 ; ain