The Power of Light
A Candle light is the most primitive of lights, but it serves a different purpose than illuminating a room in The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams. Williams uses the contrast between light and darkness to symbolize and emphasize the powerful moments that occur in the play. Although Williams uses these mechanics, the candle light of course has deeper meaning within the context of the story. Being the weakest of lights, the candle light is easily extinguished, but that small, weak light has some form of hope against the overbearing world. With Laura being as fragile, the candle symbolizes her hopes and dreams that are which snuffed out from society. Throughout the play, Williams also uses candle light imagery to describe Laura and her emotions. The candle light represents hope and how it is lost, but the character who demonstrates this most is Laura.
Light, in any form, brings some form of happiness to people. Laura demonstrates her happiness when she shares a tender moment with Jim. Being reclusive and removing herself from society, Laura is unable to interact with people, but only on certain circumstances when “light” illuminates through her. This “light” that is being referred to is the inner hope that Laura has. She desperately wants to guard this hope though, in fear of it being extinguished. This is very apparent when Laura says, “Oh be careful – if you breathe, it breaks!” (Williams 1281). Laura is referring to her glass unicorn, which also represents her, but any form of power like a breath could possibly break the unicorn which refers to her own candle light of hope. Laura desires Jim and hopes that his feelings for her remain true. As Jim continues to enlighten Laura, she announces, “I trust you with him! ... Hold him over the light, he loves the light! You see how the light shines through him?” (Williams 1281) Laura’s hope is continuing to grow as she suggests Jim to take hold of her unicorn. With the unicorn...
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