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 the "bridge" dividing the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality.The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire-escape, a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth, for all of these huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation.This "bridge" seems to be a one way passage. But the direction varies for each character. For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world he lives in with Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality. This also symbolises how Tom wants to escape from "the trap" he calls home and lead a more adventurous life. Therefore, he is drawn to the fire-escape to be in touch with the outside world and to forget the problems inside. It can be argued that "inside" is full of people who lead unrealistic lives, and that is Tom's reality. This is evident when Tom stands on the fire escape to smoke, showing that he does not enjoy being at home; to be a part of the illusory world of both Amanda and Laura, which they both find security in.For Laura, the fire escape is the way into her world, which is her escape from reality from the outside world she fears. She thinks of the fire escape as a way into the life she wants to lead, and not a way out. This can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to the store and on her way out; she trips on the fire escape. This also demonstrates that Laura's fears and emotions greatly affect her physical condition and feels vulnerable in a strange environment, where the presence of the people she depends on, is not there.Tom's habit of constantly going to the movies reveals to the audience that this is a symbol of his longing to leave the apartment and head out into the world of reality and adventure. It is not only an escape from Tom, but also a chance for him to soothe his frustrations. Tom is quickly frustrated and bored at home, because of Amanda's endless smothering. Therefore, being a poet, Tom feels that inspiration is necessary and the movies are the only sources of adventure in his life. It is also very apparent that the movies not only provide Tom with inspiration and adventure, but it also symbolises escape from the dull life he leads living with his mother and sister in St. Louis, Missouri. Amanda is completely unable to comprehend her son's needs in life and often doesn't believe that he is goes to the movies, when he goes out.I think you've been doing things that you're ashamed of. That's why you act like this. I don't believe that you go every night to the...

Find Another Essay On Discuss Tennessee William's use of imagery and symbolism in The Glass Menagerie.

Symbolism in "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1132 words - 5 pages "I have a poet's weakness for symbols." So states Tom Wingfield, narrator and 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 young woman too fragile to function in society, and himself, a struggling young poet working at a warehouse

Symbolism in the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

779 words - 3 pages manly he is.Jim's nickname for Laura ,Blue Roses,suggests a phenomenon that is contraryto nature.Blue also means sad.The symbolism in the play The Glass Menagerie made the story much more interesting.It gavethe play a special point which made it more interesting to read.Tenessee Williams used a wide range ofsymbolic aspects to describe Laura,Amanda,Jim,and Tom who are four out of the five characters in theplay.Symbolism is sometimes very important in plays,stories,etc. because it tells us about the secretswhich are hidden inside.

Symbolism in "The Great Gatsby" by F Scott Fitzgerald and "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams

1759 words - 7 pages Symbolism is an invaluable literary tool that may be employed by authors or playwrights to aid in the development of characters or to display themes in novels and plays. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbolism heavily in his text "The Great Gatsby", as does Tennessee Williams in "The Glass Menagerie". Various symbols appear throughout the respective texts that allow the reader to gain insight into character's personalities and also add value to major

Symbolism and Crossing the Rubicon in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”

1980 words - 8 pages The masterful use of symbolism is delightfully ubiquitous in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” He uses a collection of dim, dark and shadowy symbols that constantly remind the audience of the lost opportunity each of these three characters continually experience. This symbolism is not only use to enlighten the audience to their neglected opportunities to shine, but it is also repeatedly utilized to reinforce the ways in which the

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

963 words - 4 pages Dark and dim lights, working in coordination with the actors, the music, and other elements is what creates the unrealistic atmosphere and setting for The Glass Menagerie.The theme of memory is prevalent. To reinforce the concept the reference of "turgid smoky red glow" as well as "deep blue dusk" call forward the cloudy feeling that is Tom's memory. The stage production of The Glass Menagerie reminds one of cinema. Whereas in film, a close up

Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie

1908 words - 8 pages Examine Tennessee Williams's use of symbols in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜ in the first three scenes.' I have a poet's weakness for symbols "˜. This is part of the introduction of the play , given to us by Tom Wingfield , who is not only the narrator , but also plays a major part in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜. This sentence represents the play because its meaning is that Tom is saying that he is not real , he is just a symbol of his

Alienation in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie

973 words - 4 pages small and delicate as she is. They can easily break as Laura can. Through isolation Laura is protected from breaking in a cruel dark world and can live happily in her own world of illumination. WORKS CITED Williams, Tennessee. “The Glass Menagerie.” Literature Reading, Reacting, Writing. Laurie Kirszner. Stephen Mandell. 4th edition. Sea Harbor: Harcourt College Publishers. 2001. 1805-1854

Memory and Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie

4637 words - 19 pages Memory and Reality in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie 'Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic'. To what degree is the play memory and to what degree is it realistic? "When a play employs unconventional techniques, it is not trying to escape its responsibility of dealing with reality, or interpreting experience, but is actually attempting to find a closer approach, a

Comparing the Life of Tennessee Williams and Glass Menagerie

716 words - 3 pages Parallels in the Life of Tennessee Williams and The Glass Menagerie     Tennessee Williams is one the major writers of the mid-twentieth century. His work includes the plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. One theme of The Glass Menagerie is that hopeful aspirations are followed by inevitable disappointments. This theme is common throughout all of Williams' work and throughout his own life as well. It is shown through

Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

2196 words - 9 pages      In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams presents us with four characters whose lives seem to consist in avoiding reality more than facing it. Amanda lives her life through her children and clings to her lost youthfulness. Tom retreats into movie theaters and into his dream of joining the merchant seamen and some day becoming a published poet. Laura resorts to her Victrola and collection of glass ornaments to help sustain her world of

Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie

1947 words - 8 pages The Reality of Illusions: Research Analysis of Theme in Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Reflective of the depressed age it was written in, Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, reveals a host of antisocial personalities, each with their own psychosis and methodology of self-medicating. This glimpse into the lives of the Wingfield family’s dysfunction is both sobering and memorable. When brought to the stage as was originally

Similar Essays

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

The Glass Menagerie Characterization And Symbolism In Tennessee Williams' Play.

819 words - 3 pages People have a certain way of thinking, feeling, and reacting that is known as human nature. In everyday life many actions, however unintentional, give clues to our personal agendas. Insecurities, especially, have a way of showing their presence through gestures, eye contact (or lack thereof), and verbal utterings. In "The Glass Menagerie", Tennessee Williams utilizes intense characterizations to illustrate the specific traits of his various

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

To What Extent Is The Play "The Glass Menagerie" The Biography Of Tennessee William's Life?

1241 words - 5 pages Tennesse Williams has written a number of plays in his lifetime. The success he gained from one of his plays "The Glass Menagerie" written in the 1940s has proven him to be a very popular and appealing playwright in America. Through a series of twists and turns of the play it actually reflects upon the harsh reality and uncomfortable life he has been facing with his family. As a result there are many similarities between the events of his life