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 broken lives of Amanda, Laura and Tom Wingfield and their inability to live in the present.

The glass menagerie symbolizes Amanda Wingfield's overwhelming need to cling to her past and her fulfilled fear of being alone.  Amanda resents the poverty-stricken neighborhood in which she lives so much that she needs to mentally escape from it by invented romance and self-deception. Williams describes her as having "endurance and a kind of heroism, but she is also silly, snobbish, sometimes cruel and sometimes pathetic in her well-intentioned blundering"(Williams 1865).  Abandoned by her husband, Amanda comforts herself with recollections of her earlier, more gracious, southern life in Blue Mountain when she was pursued by "gentleman callers".   Amanda is desperate to find her daughter, Laura, a husband, the kind of gentleman caller that she herself longed for, who would not have deserted her. "Well, in the South we had so many servants. Gone, gone, gone. All vestiges of gracious living! Gone completely! I wasn't prepared for what the future brought me." (Williams 1893). She foists her illusions on her unwilling children, lives in the past with pretensions to glory.

            Laura's collection of glass animals represents her hypersensitive nature and fragility.  The glass menagerie is her private world, set apart from reality, a place where she can hide and be safe.  The first time the menagerie is mentioned in any detail in a symbolic manner is when Tom and Amanda have a heated argument near the beginning of the play.  Tom ends the argument by calling Amanda an "ugly- babbling old -witch"(Williams 1875), and struggles to put his coat on, intent on leaving.  When he cannot put the coat on properly, he becomes frustrated with his clumsiness and flings it across the room, breaking some of the glass collection. Laura "cries out as if wounded"(Williams 1875).  This shows how fragile Laura really is and how she reacts when even the small balance of her apartment is shifted.  The most prominent use of this symbol comes at the crisis of the story, when Jim is left alone with Laura. The conversation turns to Laura's glass collection, when she remarks "glass is something you have to take good care of."(Williams 1900), again showing her fragility. More parallels are drawn between Laura and the glass collection with the introduction of the unicorn. Jim says, "Poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome"(Williams 1902) to which Laura replies, " He stays on a shelf with some horses that don't have horns...

Find Another Essay On Essay on the Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie

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

On The Glass Menagerie

720 words - 3 pages Tom Wingfield as the Most Important Character In the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, Tom Wingfield is cast as the main character. The play is about Tom trying to escape his home which he sees as a trap. Tom is the most important character for several reasons. First of all, he is the narrator of the play and it stems from his memories. Secondly, he is the most important person in the family; if he leaves, then there is no one to

The Importance of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

1615 words - 6 pages The Importance of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie     Tom Wingfield is the narrator and a major character in Tennessee William’s timeless play, The Glass Menagerie. Through the eyes of Tom, the viewer gets a glance into the life of his family in the pre-war depression era; his mother, a Southern belle desperately clinging to the past; his sister, a woman too fragile to function in society; and himself, a struggling, young poet working

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 Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie

506 words - 2 pages Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie      In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, each character attempts to escape the real world by creating their own “reality”. Laura hides from the world by magnifying her illness. Tom convinces himself that his needs supersede the needs of his family. Amanda focuses almost exclusively on the past - when she saw herself as a desirable southern belle. Even Jim focus his hopes on recapturing

The Glass Menagerie - Symbolism - Tenesee Williams

706 words - 3 pages In the play "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things. Many of the symbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion.The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This represents the "bridge" between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality. This "bridge" seems to be a one way

Characterization in The Glass Menagerie

1137 words - 5 pages character’s actions may enlighten audiences to issues surrounding another character is brilliantly illustrated by Williams in his The Glass Menagerie. On the surface of the play the issues present seem to be rooted in the fact that Laura is “crippled” and unwed, however, upon further examination it is seen that there are other deeper issues. Williams writes in his production notes that this is a “memory play” (1041). What is interesting about The

Desperation in The Glass Menagerie

771 words - 3 pages A 26 year-old woman kneels on the floor, childlike, playing with glass figurines upon a living room table. Too plagued by her own humility, Laura contemplates only one future for herself; seclusion from the outside world where bad encounters prevail the desire for good experiences. A lack of positive growth for Laura, along with the rest of her family, is the pitfall for Tennessee Williams where he pressurizes kindred desperation in The Glass

Symbolism in "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1132 words - 5 pages dealing with the outside world.Another recurring symbol in the story is that of the glass menagerie itself. This represents Laura's hypersensitive nature and fragility. The first time the menagerie is mentioned in any detail in a symbolic manner is when Tom and Amanda have a heated argument near the beginning of the play. Tom ends it by calling Amanda an "ugly babbling old witch", and struggles to put his jacket on, intent on leaving. When he cannot

Similar Essays

Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie Essay

1908 words - 8 pages bills , as well as other characters further on in the play. Tom himself , is a representation of Tennessee Williams , which is why he is one of the most significant characters.Scene one is one of the most important scenes , as the stage instructions help to set the scene and give the audience a background.' The Glass Menagerie "˜ , as a whole combines realistic and non-realistic images and techniques , which balance each other out in order to

The Glass Menagerie Symbolism Essay

641 words - 3 pages In the Glass Menagerie, author Tennessee Williams employs insightful symbolism in order to convey the relentless power of memory. Memory: the source by which one stores and remembers information. While it proves a vital source in daily life, this process can be lethal to our emotional and logical state. When evaluating these recollections, perspective plays a momentous role in their impact on the future. The unicorn embodies the true essence

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

The Glass Menagerie Essay

800 words - 4 pages Tennessee Williams employs the uses of plot, symbolism, and dialogue to portray his theme of impossible true escape, which asserts itself in his play, The Glass Menagerie. Each of his characters fills in the plot by providing emotional tension and a deep, inherent desire to escape. Symbolism entraps meaning into tangible objects that the reader can visualize and attach significance to. Conclusively, Williams develops his characters and plot
Just Cause 3 (2018) Repack by Qoob Uploaded by NASWARI+ZOHAIB DJ | Maetel Legend (2) | → Download