Symbolism of the Glass Menagerie

Topics: The Glass Menagerie, Symbol, Tennessee Williams Pages: 2 (670 words) Published: July 23, 2011
Symbolism of The Glass Menagerie
In Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie, there is an abundance of symbolism that can be identified through careful analysis of the play write. The story is based around the Wingfield family. The daughter in the story is the central point of most of the symbolism. Laura, the daughter, has a collection of glass figurines in which the title of the play was named after. Within the glass collection there is a glass unicorn which holds a lot of symbolism and meaning behind it. The fire escape is the simplest, but most intriguing piece of symbolism. The Glass Menagerie has many symbolic objects throughout the play which can be analyzed further in detail.

The title of the play is representational of the collection of animals witch is the central symbol of the play. Laura’s collection of glass figurines stands for a great deal of different aspects of her personality. Much like the figurines, Laura is tender, dreamlike, and somewhat old-fashioned. When it comes to glass it’s transparent, but when light passes through it at the right angle it shines and makes a rainbow of colors. Likewise, Laura might be quiet and unemotional around other people, kind of strange, gifted and wonderful to be around to one who could somehow look at her the right way or “in the right light”. The menagerie also symbolizes the imaginary world that Laura keeps herself in; a world that is beautiful and wonderful, but is established on fragile mirages.

The unicorn in Laura’s collection of glass animals is defiantly her favorite out of all of them and portrays her distinctiveness very well. By asking why she has the unicorn since they are “extinct in modern times” and must feel “lonesome” as the mere fact of being different from all horses, Jim is implying that Laura is different from all girls. In reading more one can tell that Laura is also different, lonely, and, does not seem to exist in the world that she is lives in now. The destiny of the...
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