Symbolism in the Glass Menagerie

Topics: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, Symbol Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie uses an extensive pattern of symbolism that describes the characters of Tom,Amanda,Laura and Jim.Glass,light,color and music constitute the substance of the dominant symbols and motifs,serving to reveal deeper aspects of characters and underlying themes of the play.Tennessee Williams wrote the play so that each character had a special symbol which resembled their personality.But he didn't only give the characters of the play a a resembling symbol;he also mentions the apartment blocks to be hivelike conglomerations of cellular living-units resembling a beenstock.The way he describes their location also has a lot of symbolism in its roots because he describes them to be flowering as warty growths in overcrowded urban centers.

Tennessee Williams used many symbolic aspects to describe Laura and the world she lives in.In the play,Laura represents the very fragile,shy and emotionally crippled girl.In her mind she lives in a world of glass animals and doesn't have a connection to the real world.The managerie of glass also represents the fragile relationships among all the characters.The glass unicorn is most obviously a symbol of Laura--delicate,sadly different,an anomaly in the modern world.The glass motif recurs throughout the whole play in many other forms.When Laura dropped out of college she constantly visited the zoo,a glass house of tropical flowers that are as vulnerable as she is.During Laura's and Jim's brief romantic encounter,Laura is gaining more confidence about herself.It seems as if she is starting to escape her

world of illusions.When they started dancing together,Jim accidently knocked the little glass horse over.Laura,who usually worships her glass collection more than anything else,replied to his excuse;"He's lost his horn.It doesn't matter.Maybe it's a blessing in disguise." and "I'll just imagine he had an operation.The horn was removed to make him feel...
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