Essay On The Use Of Symbols, Tensions, And Irony In The Glass Menagerie

925 words - 4 pages

Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie

 
    The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a perfect example of how Williams incorporates symbols, tensions, and irony to help express the central theme of the play.

 

    One of the most dominant symbols in the play is the fire escape.  It represents something different for each of the characters.  Tom uses the fire escape to escape from his cramped apartment and nagging mother.  Therefore, the fire escape symbolizes a path to the outside world.  For Jim, the gentleman caller, the fire escape represents a means of entering the Wingfield apartment and by doing so, entering the Wingfields' lives.  The mother, Amanda, sees the fire escape as a possible entrance for Jim into the apartment and as an answer to the fear she has of her daughter becoming a spinster.  Lastly, for Laura, the fire escape represents a place she can go to hide from the real world.

 

    The glass menagerie itself is another symbol.  It represents how fragile, sensitive, and unique Laura is.  Laura's prize piece is the unicorn, which Jim bumps into and brakes.  After the unicorn is broken, it is no longer unique.  Just as after Jim kisses Laura and tells her of his engagement to be married, she becomes both heart-broken and a little less unique.  In this area, Jim represents the outside world.  When the unicorn and Laura are exposed to Jim (or the outside world) they break.  By Laura giving Jim the broken unicorn, she is also giving him her broken heart to take with him. She gives him the broken unicorn because it is no longer unique, and to her neither is Jim. Likewise, when Jim leaves, he will also leave behind a little of himself in Laura's broken heart.

 

    Another symbol used by Tennessee is rainbows.  Rainbows represent hope throughout the play; ironically though, the situations with rainbows all end in disappointment.  Tom talks of his rainbow-colored scarf that was used at a magic show to change a bowl of goldfish into flying canaries.  Like the canaries, Tom hopes to escape from his prison and fly away.  The rainbow reflections at the Dance Hall, created by the chandeliers, foreshadow the dance between Jim and Laura. This dance gave Laura a sense of hope for herself.  Later though, Tom looks at the "pieces of colored glass, like bits of a shattered rainbow", which represents Laura's broken hopes and dreams.

 

    Tom uses irony as a means of keeping pain and himself apart.  Amanda accuses Tom of going out drinking every night, and to this Tom makes up a humorous story about how "killer, killer, Wingfield" spends his nights in "opium dens, dens of vice and criminals'...

Find Another Essay On Essay on the Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie

Use of Metaphor in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

862 words - 3 pages Use of Metaphor in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie In The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, the glass menagerie is a clear and powerful metaphor for each of the four characters, Tom, Laura, Amanda, and the Gentleman Caller. It represents their lives, personality, emotions, and other important characteristics. Laura is the owner and caretaker of the glass menagerie. In her own little fantasy world, playing with the glass

Discuss Tennessee Williams' use of imagery and symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

2008 words - 8 pages In Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie; he uses symbols to represent the reoccurring theme of the failure to accept reality and Tom's theme of escape. Like his narrator, Tom, Williams has a poet's "weakness for symbols" and the most prominent of these symbols is Laura's glass menagerie, which is very central to the play and links all the themes together.The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This represents

Discuss Tennessee William's use of imagery and symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

2008 words - 8 pages In Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie; he uses symbols to represent the reoccurring theme of the failure to accept reality and Tom's theme of escape. Like his narrator, Tom, Williams has a poet's "weakness for symbols" and the most prominent of these symbols is Laura's glass menagerie, which is very central to the play and links all the themes together.The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This represents

Tennessee Williams's "The Glass Menagerie": Use of Lighting

963 words - 4 pages extensively in The Glass Menagerie." In keeping with the atmosphere of memory, the stage is dim" writes Williams in his production notes. An example he alludes to is the quarrel between Tom and Amanda in Scene Three. While Tom shouts "What in Christ's name am I - " and Amanda while interrupting scolds him for doing so, Laura has no active parts, "the clearest pool of light is on her figure". Laura is the center despite the action around here

How is escapisms presented through symbols used within ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

1282 words - 6 pages Symbolism of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie: An inductive approach’ reveals Tennessee William’s discovery of escapism through writing that allowed him to ‘escape from the world of reality in which’ he felt uncomfortable. Perhaps expressing his use of symbolisms as a form of escapism within his plays, including ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ is a memory play that consists of recreations of Michael’s experiences and

Essay on the Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1036 words - 4 pages The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie   The Glass Menagerie, a play by Tennessee Williams, is set in the apartment of the Wingfield family, housing Amanda Wingfield and her two children Tom and Laura. The father left many years ago, and is only represented by a picture on the living-room wall. The small, dingy apartment creates a desperate, monotonous feeling in the reader. None of the Wingfields has any desire to stay in the

Essay on the Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1106 words - 4 pages from her worst fear that they will be "eating the crust of humility all their [lives]."   Playing worn records and arranging her glass figurines, Laura is the main quandary in the lives of Tom and Amanda. Her tremendous feelings of inferiority cause her to drop out of school and hide from other people. She is fragile like her menagerie and cannot bear the "awful suffering look on [Amanda's] face" or the sound of Tom and her mother

Essay on the Metamorphosis of Tom in The Glass Menagerie

1027 words - 4 pages The Metamorphosis of Tom in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams      In Tennessee William's play, The Glass Menagerie, the character of Tom is both a son and a brother. Tom has also been forced into the role as the man of the house because of his father's departure. He is very unique and somewhat unpredictable in his words and actions. Tom is selfish, yet caring, and he has a strong need for adventure. Without doubt, Tom is the most

Essay on Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1042 words - 4 pages Escape in The Glass Menagerie In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, none of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers

Essay on Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1020 words - 4 pages and Laura are the most pitiful characters in the play. Their methods of escape consist of what goes on inside their heads. Laura escapes through her menagerie. "[Laura's] glass collection takes up a good deal of [her] time" (Williams 1303). Laura is so engrossed with taking care of her glass collection that she forgets to live her life. Laura also hides behind her disability. She even admits that the brace on her leg "...sort of -stood between

Essay on the Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie

993 words - 4 pages The Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie      Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, describes three separate characters, their dreams, and the harsh realities they face in a modern world.  The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. Williams' use of symbols adds depth to the play. The glass menagerie itself is a symbol Williams uses to represent the

Similar Essays

Symbols Of Escapism In The Glass Menagerie

785 words - 3 pages There are many symbols of escapism presented in the Glass Menagerie and each character has its own symbols connected to it. The characters will, however, only ever be able to escape their '2 by 4' situation for a brief moment. This essay will discuss the characters in the play and how they are linked to the symbols of escapism with reference to the play.In the play Tom becomes highly pre-occupied with the magician and his ability to escape the

Essay On Everyday Use, Daffodils, And The Glass Menagerie

893 words - 4 pages Lessons From Everyday Use, Daffodils, and The Glass Menagerie   Literature plays a major role in civilization.  Even societies without a written language have literature.  Stories, poems and songs are pasted down orally from one generation to another.  This term we have study three forms of literature; short stories, poems, and drama.  The study of these three forms has affected me in different ways and I have

"The Glass Menagerie" By Tennesse Williams; Essay On Symbols In Setting

710 words - 3 pages "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, is a play that has captured the hearts of Americans for numerous generations. The simple hopefulness of its characters is shown through the obvious but intricate use of symbols. Williams, just like his narrator,Tom, is a poet with a "weakness for symbols". Four main elements of setting are used as symbols in this play; the fire escape, the glass unicorn, the photograph of Mr. Wingfield, and the

Three Important Symbols In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

1468 words - 6 pages Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams        In Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, the narrator is used to reveal elements of Williams' own life as a victim of the Depression in the 1930s. Williams does this through his eloquent use of symbolism. Three symbols seem to reveal Williams' intent especially accurately; the unicorn, the picture of Mr. Wingfield, and Malvolio's coffin trick
Homevideo | Barbie et la Magie des Dauphins Streaming HD Barbie et la Magie des Dauphins Streaming Full-HD Barbie et la Magie des Dauphins Streaming HD [1080p] gratuit en illimite - Barbie et ses sœurs partent pour une nouvelle aventure passionnante : elles rendent visite à leur ami Ken près d’un récif de corail magnifique et exotique. Tandis qu’elles explorent des merveilles du récif, Barbie et ses sœurs découvrent aussi les ... | Quantico