Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie Essay

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 character , much like all the other characters in the play. It is through Tom's eyes that we , the audience , are able to get an insight into his family and their life , the background of the pre-war depression era , his mother , a Southern Belle , who is not able to forget her past , his sister , who is too weak to be able to survive in society and himself a struggling , young poet , who works in a warehouse to get money in order to pay the 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 create a portrait of the Wingfield family The elaborate stage set and lighting is used to create an atmosphere , using visual metaphors , which are some of the nonrealistic aspects of the play , along with music , screen devises , the narrator who often addresses the audience and manages to give the idea that the play is a mere memory. The screen devises help to provide themes for different scenes and allows the audience to focus on a major event that is taking place at that point in the scene. The sounds and the sights also give us an idea of the time and period and it sets a mood. When Tom is narrating in the first scene , he gives the audience the idea that he is a magician , which is a symbol of the play and the characters within it ,'I turn back time "˜ , which can be seen to be a dramatical trick , but it also represents the fact that the play is set way back in the 1930's and Tom is remembering the past. The music and the dim lighting ads to the atmosphere and give the scene a mystical , sentimental impression representing the transcendental and improbable magician , who as we know is Tom who is implying that he shows truth through illusions and symbols.The stage direction , which indicates a legend on screen saying ,'Ou sont les neiges "˜ , meaning ,"Where are the snows ". This screen legend is taken from another poem and it is used to give a depressive atmosphere , with the abstruse snow , which will always eventually melt , symbolising memories of the past , which can fade away. It is another reality , which is also a fantasy.The stage directions also give the sense that the are in which the Wingfields...

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