Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

779 words - 3 pages

The Glass Menagerie uses an extensive pattern of symbolism that describes the characters ofTom,Amanda,Laura and Jim. Glass,light,color and music constitute the substance of the dominantsymbols and motifs,serving to reveal deeper aspects of characters and underlying themes of theplay.Tennessee Williams wrote the play so that each character had a special symbol which resembledtheir personality.But he didn't only give the characters of the play a a resembling symbol;he alsomentions the apartment blocks to be hivelike conglomerations of cellular living-units resembling abeenstock.The way he describes their location also has a lot of symbolism in its roots because hedescribes them to be flowering as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers.Tennessee Williams used many symbolic aspects to describe Laura and the world she livesin.In the play,Laura represents the very fragile,shy and emotionally crippled girl.In her mind she livesin a world of glass animals and doesn't have a connection to the real world.The managerie of glass alsorepresents the fragile relationships among all the characters.The glass unicorn is most obviously asymbol of Laura--delicate,sadly different,an anomaly in the modern world.The glass motif recursthroughout the whole play in many other forms.When Laura dropped out of college she constantlyvisited the zoo,a glass house of tropical flowers that are as vulnerable as she is.During Laura's andJim's brief romantic encounter,Laura is gaining more confidence about herself.It seems as if she isstarting to escape herworld of illusions.When they started dancing together,Jim accidently knocked the little glass horseover.Laura,who usually worships her glass collection more than anything else,replied to hisexcuse;'He's lost his horn.It doesn't matter.Maybe it's a blessing in disguise.' and 'I'll just imagine hehad an operation.The horn was removed to make him feel less--freakish!Now he will feel more athome with the other horses,the ones who don't have horns....'.These two quotes give an impressionthat Laura is finally escaping her illusive world.She thinks that she might have a chance to survive thereal world.What she doesn't know is that she is about to be wounded by the news of Jim'sengagement.After Jim tells her the news,she gives him the unicorn as a souvenir and retreats into herland of the glass menagerie never to come out again.In the play,Tom is the adventure seeking man trying to escape the prison Amanda is keepinghim trapped in.To escape the real...

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