Tennessee Williams uses symbolism to reveal, in depth, attributes of characters and what they represent. the play is constructed so that each character has a defining symbol which resembles their personality. Brechtian techniques also contribute to the motifs and themes of the play.
We are presented a symbol straight away in the first scene which is the fire escape. This symbolises a "bridge" between the illusionary world of the Wingfields and the world of reality outside of their apartment.
Tom-"I'm going for a smoke!"
Laura-"I'm all right. I slipped, but I'm all right
From this The "bridge" initially seems to be a one way passage, but the for each character the direction varies. The fire escape, for Tom, is escape out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality. The fire escape however, for Laura, is a way into her world and an escape from reality. Examples of both characters can clearly be seen: whenever Tom smokes he goes out on to the fire escape, showing that he does not like to be inside and be a part of the illusionary world. Yet on the other hand, Laura, thinks of the fire escape as a way in and not a way out. An example of this can be seen when Amanda tells Laura to go to the store: Laura trips on the fire escape. This idea suggests that Laura's emotions and fears enormously affect her physical condition. Much more so than normal people.
The most predominant and frequently referred to symbol which is rather obvious is Laura's glass menagerie. Her collection of glass represents her own private world which she frequently use as an escape from reality. Her place where she can hide and be safe. The events that happen to Laura's glass affects Laura's emotional state greatly. When Tom breaks the glass menagerie Laura is... [continues]
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