In Tennessee Williams‘ play The Glass Menagerie, the audience believes that the menagerie simply refers to a glass collection owned by Laura Wingfield. Laura lives with her brother Tom and her mother Amanda. Due to her mother‘s desire for her to marry, Jim‘s introduction to the play is one as a gentleman caller. When Laura describes her glass animals to
Jim, she uses her mother‘s term ―glass menagerie‖ (Williams 414) for them. All of the figures are glass, but the animals in it vary, and thus fit, one definition of the word. However, there is another definition to consider: ―an unusual and varied group of people‖ (―Menagerie‖). This interpretation of the word seems to fit the entire play. Glass takes on many forms: clear, …show more content…
15). The constant pressure to live up to someone that he is not leads him to his final, family-related choice. Even by leaving, he finds that he is still not free. Tom discovers that he cannot ―leave [her] behind …‖ (Williams 420) when thinking of his sister. The effects are that of a piece of fractured glass, not truly broken, but beyond repair.
Tom‘s recollections of Laura make her out to be more fragile than she might have been.
It is easy to think of her as a piece of clear, hand-blown glass, fragile and see-through at the same time. She refers to herself as ―crippled‖ (Williams 392), even though her mother tells her it is ―a little defect—hardly noticeable…‖ (Williams 393). This little defect has had an impact on her demeanor and becomes the cause for separation from reality (Tischler par. 19; 21). She truly feels that her whole being was transformed due to the defect in her leg (Tischler par. 21). This leads to her spending a great deal of ―time with her glass animals‖ (Holditch par. 4). Upon a closer look, one is not so sure that there was not more to her than just being shy over her leg.
Rather than telling her mother the truth about quitting school, she spends her time walking and visiting the zoo. This makes her personality seems faceted, like cut glass. She seems fragile and in need of protection on one hand; on the other hand, her grasp of reality is uncanny. She is always the one who must strive to keep the peace
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Tom is the only one man in the family, and suffers most from the pressure of his mother. She constantly
Laura's glass menagerie seems to be the play's central symbol. "Laura's collection of glass animal figurines represents a number of facets of her personality. Like the figurines, Laura is
The Glass Menagerie means the glass animals collected by Laura. Laura is as beautiful, fragile and vulnerable as the animals. The slight leg disability made Laura sensitive and inferior. As she was afraid to face the teachers and students, she dropped out. Her mother sent Laura to business school to learn typing in order to find a job. But Laura vomited during the speed typing exam as she was too nervous, so she had to drop out again. Laura was afraid of reality and only willing to stay in a fantasy world. Thus, she spent her day at home
The actual glass menagerie is a glass ointment collection pieced together by Laura herself. Ironically, it is also the title of the play.
Laura has a collection of glass figurines, and gets lost in her imaginary world. Laura cleans her figurines for hours. “She is washing and polishing her collection of glass (Williams 37)”. She is always polishing her figurines and never pays attention to anything else. Laura likes to imagine herself as a glass figurine and that she fits in with them.
The Glass Menagerie is a memory play that is, in a way, a partial autobiography of the life of its author Tennessee Williams. Williams, like Tom, worked in a factory and lived with his mother and sister. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why Tom is so fond of his sister Laura, and always more than happy to do what his mother says when it comes to her. For example Amanda, Tom’s mother, has requested Tom to bring home a gentleman caller for Laura to which he responds:
Tom is Amanda’s son and Laura’s younger brother. He connects well with the theme of feeling trapped. Tom is the father figure of the household. He is trapped by the responsibility of having to assist his mother and sister. “.. [Tom] had to quit college to work in the shoe warehouse.
A Glass Menagerie is a collection of small, wild animals which can be put out for display for public view. Tennessee Williams's play “The Glass Menagerie”, is about a family with personalities so different that they do not get along. The family could be considered wild animals all in their own way. In the story, Laura’s menagerie breaks multiple times at the slightest touch. The title of the play “The Glass Menagerie is represented by the entire family because, like the menagerie, each family member displays fragile characteristics.
The most important symbol in this play is the title itself, The Glass Menagerie. A menagerie is a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition; in this case it was Laura’s collection of glass animal figurines. The little figurines, especially the unicorn, represent a number of elements about Laura and the entire play itself. The glass is a symbol of fragility, which is also a key facet to the overall symbolism in this memory play. Like the Menagerie, Laura is unique, delicate, and somewhat childish.
Throughout the play, “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, Laura’s glass collection, especially the tiny unicorn, can be used as a symbol to help us understand each of the characters individual viewpoints. The glass unicorn holds the most significance for Laura, but it, but the glass menagerie is symbolic of each and every one of the characters’ lives and attitudes. All of the characters can be better understood by relating them to the glass menagerie.
The Glass Menagerie is the central symbol in this play referring to how, “a collection of wild animals is kept in captivity for exhibition. It revolves around a strange or diverse collection of people or things” (Dictionary.com, 2014). Williams quoted from Jim, “You know what I judge to be the trouble with you? Inferiority complex! That’s what they call it when someone low-rates himself! I understand it because I had it, too” (Williams, 2013) p1047 I). Laura feels like she’s in captivity because lack of self-esteem and because of her disability.
The play The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams illustrates the life of a 1930’s living in St. Louis. Most of the play depicts the family miserable and in constant disagreement. Objects in the play including the fire escape, the picture of Tom’s father, and the unicorn from the glass menagerie all symbolize the central theme of hope for each character in the play. Hope remains a central theme of the play from the opening lines until the final scene. For each character, an object in the house represents their hopes or as Tom describes it, “the long delayed but always expected something that we live for” (Williams 5).
The Glass Menagerie, a short play by Tennessee Williams delves into the inner workings of a multifarious family. The Wingfield family struggles together with the past, the yet to come and how to endure each other’s company. Williams’ production utilizes an extensive range of symbolization throughout the short story in order to parallel the struggles and triumphs each character manifests. From the iconic Mr. Wingfield picture frame, to the remedying getaway of the fire escape, Tennessee exposes the audience to a selection of symbols. Ultimately, if one symbol was to represent the story from start to end, the one of a kind transcendent glass unicorn encompasses the story best. The unordinary glass horned horse symbolizes illusion versus reality, and coupled with the story’s four prominent characters, crafts a curtain-raiser with powerful implications.
TQ: Williams use of dramatic discourse throughout the play signifies Amanda’s yearn to relive the life of her daughter Laura, allowing her to manipulate and control Laura’s needs and wants as a fragile lady. Williams carefully employ stage directions to illustrate the Amanda’s yearn to wed Laura to a gentlemen caller; thus, perpetuating the expected role of women as domestic objects during the 1930s.