Throughout The Glass Menagerie Laura is presented as an extremely shy and sensitive person. This play also describes her personal fears, hopes, and dreams. Her shyness is emphasized even more by being contrasted with her mother Amanda's forceful and almost brutal nature and actions towards Laura.We clearly are made aware almost immediately of Laura's overly sensitive nature. Laura can be characterized by her loneliness, sensitivity, trapped feelings, and outcast.
Laura has no gentlemen callers and feels very isolated from the rest of the world in many ways. In her childhood, she walked through school trying to escape the reality of being “ disabled.” Horrified of people and their thoughts of her, she made her way to her classes, “ And everybody was seated before I came in. I had to walk in front of all those people. My seat was in the back row. I had to go clumping all the way up the aisle with everybody watching!”(VII.104). The other characters within the play seem to think of Laura as some kind of rare animal due to her actions and fear of people. Laura removes herself from school when she makes bad grades, “I made bad grades on my final examinations.”(VII.166). She also refuses to properly open the door and makes excuses so she will not have to face Jim when he comes to visit and have dinner, “ I can’t . . .I’m sick . . .Oh, Oh, Oh . . .” (VI.55,56,59). The loneliness Laura has is carried out through the play, especially when she comes to find out that Jim is engaged to another woman and cannot be with her. She goes back to her own little world so that no one can hurt her and she can protect her glass menagerie.
Laura’s physical and emotional sensitivity can be seen throughout the play of The Glass Menagerie. One example would be when Laura is showing Jim her Glass Menagerie and she says, “ Most of them are tiny little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie! Here’s an example of one, if you’d like to see it! This one is one of the oldest. It’s nearly thirteen.”(VII.193). Laura felt as if she could have her own little world with her glass figurines. The glass could easily be broken just as Laura’s heart was fragile and could be easily broken. Her emotions to people, her glass figurines, and previous experiences is what makes her emotionally sensitive, and she fears to step out of her comfort zone. Laura is physically sensitive due to her inability to walk property because of her crippled leg. She also gets worn out easily when working hard, as shown when she moves unsteadily toward the dining table. Her Mothers see’s she is ill and exclaims, “ Laura! . . .Why, Laura, you are ill, darling! . . . Well! Standing over the hot stove made her ill!”(VI.151).
Trapped, is a word that some might use to describe an animal or prisoner. As stated earlier, some of the characters within the play think of Laura as rare animal. Laura despises having visitors over, as shown when she tells...