Essay on Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

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Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

Symbolism plays an integral part in Williams’s play, The Glass Menagerie. Examples of the use of symbolism include the fire escape, as an escape from the family, the phonograph, as an escape from reality, the unicorn, as a symbol for Laura's uniqueness and the father’s photograph, representing something different to each character. Through regonition of these symbols, a greater understanding of the play’s theme is achieved.

Throughout the play, Tom Wingfield was torn by a responsibility he felt for his mother and sister and the need to be his own man. He used the fire escape most in the play. He went outside to stand on it when he smoked, to escape the nagging from his mother, and to make his …show more content…

The movies to him represented what he wanted. In scene VI Tom is speaking to Jim (on the fire escape) about the movies and says, "I'm tired of the movies." At this point Tom has already decided he will leave his mother and sister, movies aren't enough excitement for him anymore.

The Victrola phonograph was Laura's means of escape and comfort. Laura is painfully shy, very fragile and has a very big "inferiority complex". She uses the Victrola so much to comfort her that it has become an instinct. In scene III Laura's mother finds out that she has dropped out of Business College. When Amanda is lecturing her (Laura draws a long breath and gets awkwardly to her feet. She crosses to the Victrola, and winds it up.) Amanda says, "What are you doing?" Laura says "Oh!" and returns to her seat for the rest of her lecture. Laura automatically got up and wound the Victrola when she felt she needed to escape from the situation with Amanda. She didn't even realize what she was doing. In scene VI when Amanda's forcing Laura to open the door for the "gentleman caller" Laura goes over to the Victrola and winds it up. She doesn't want to answer the door; she winds the Victrola because she's afraid. The Victrola is in her comfort zone; it's an inanimate object that she can be herself around. Laura uses the Victrola throughout the play, when she wants to avoid confrontation or when she's hurt. In scene 5

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