In the stage directions at the end of scene 3, some of Laura’s figurines shatter as a result of Tom’s rage, and she “cries out as if wounded”, thus the glass is personified and symbolises Laura’s fragile nature. Furthermore, her unicorn figurine’s horn disjointed when Jim dances with her and makes “him [the unicorn] feel less freakish” and help him feel as if he belonged. This is another example of personified symbolism, as Jim helps Laura liberate her true self and feel included, just like the unicorn.
Laura is shown in the play as a shy and sensitive person. Laura is like this because she possesses a limp. She magnifies this limp to an extent where it affects her whole personality. Her oversensitive nature makes her think that people notice the limp and thus, she cannot live normally. Her inability to overcome the limp causes her to remove herself from the real world and live in a world of illusions. An imaginary world of glass animals provides Laura’s refuge from reality. But, her illusion is dangerous for her glass menagerie serves as a substitute for life rather than an escape. Her favorite animal in the menagerie is the unicorn, which she calls “freakish.” In one scene, she and Jim are looking at the unicorn. The scene shows freakish breaking and this presents Amanda with a revelation.
The actual glass menagerie is a glass ointment collection pieced together by Laura herself. Ironically, it is also the title of the play.
Tom ends the argument by calling Amanda an "ugly- babbling old -witch"(Williams 1875), and struggles to put his coat on, intent on leaving. When he cannot put the coat on properly, he becomes frustrated with his clumsiness and flings it across the room, breaking some of the glass collection. Laura "cries out as if wounded"(Williams 1875). This shows how fragile Laura really is and how she reacts when even the small balance of her apartment is shifted. The most prominent use of this symbol comes at the crisis of the story, when Jim is left alone with Laura. The conversation turns to Laura's glass collection, when she remarks "glass is something you have to take good care of."(Williams 1900), again showing her fragility. More parallels are drawn between Laura and the glass collection with the introduction of the unicorn. Jim says, "Poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome"(Williams 1902) to which Laura replies, " He stays on a shelf with some horses that don't have horns and all of them seem to get along nicely together"(Williams 1902). The unicorn becomes a symbol for Laura because just like the unicorn she is different. When Jim and Laura dance, and Jim accidentally knocks the unicorn off the table and its horn is broken off, it loses its uniqueness. Similarly, when Jim kisses Laura and then shatters her hopes by telling
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” by Tennessee Williams, was written in the early forties but could be misconstrued as a present-day play, because of the family dynamic that has changed since the forties but has not been completed replaced. In this play, we are introduced to Tom Wingfield who is the breadwinner for the family, which consists of his mom and sister. Amanda Wingfield who is an overbearing mother that knows no boundaries, and Laura Wingfield who is the sweet, and embarrassingly shy daughter of Amanda. Their family dynamic is like most of ours. The mother loves her kids dearly but struggles with letting go of her old identity, the daughter who allows her disability to determine her happiness and the brother who is obligated to work but would rather drink and party his money away. I’m sure many of us can relate to this family in some form. My favorite character in “The Glass Menagerie” is Laura. I love Laura because I can relate to her in more than one way. I was a shy individual most of my life, but once people got to know me they realized I was no different from them. In the following paragraphs, I will share Laura’s character with you, the similarities between Laura and the glass unicorn and I’ll tell you how the glass unicorn represents Laura.
One of the most significant symbols is Laura's glass unicorn, which has an obvious and direct relation to Laura. Being her favorite animal in her menagerie, they share many similar characteristics. The glass unicorn is most obviously a symbol of Laura; delicate, different, and an abnormality to the modern world. During Laura and Jim's brief romantic encounter, Laura is gaining more confidence about herself. When they started dancing together, Jim accidently knocked the glass unicorn over. This begins to indicate the way that Laura was being drawn into the world. At this stage, it looks as if Jim is interested in Laura, and we know that of all of her menagerie, it is the unicorn that Laura most identifies with. When the horn breaks and it is, in Laura's words, “just like all the other horses” (Williams 1221), it symbolizes the potential of Jim to lead Laura into the world where she can be just like everyone else. However, when it is clear that Jim is engaged and will not marry Laura, the gift of the unicorn as a “souvenir” to Jim symbolizes Laura's final retreat from the world without hope of return.
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
In The Glass Menagerie, Laura lives in her own illusion of what she feels like is reality. Laura is a girl with no motivation to pursue a career or relationship. She lives in a world of delicate and fragile glass animals, a lot like herself on the inside. For example, the book says “Whereas fabricating an idealized past becomes Amanda’s compensation for her present existence, Laura’s retreat
By far, of the three Wingsfields members, reality seems to have the weakest grasp on Laura. Because of the private world that she continuously withdraws to, populated by illusive animal characters made out of glass. For instance, “Oh be careful-if you breathe It breaks!... Hold him over the light, he loves the light! You see how the light shines through him?” shows how Laura gives a glass figure male characteristic by saying that he likes the light (Williams 801). To add on, this also symbolizes how incredibly delicate Laura’s inner life is just like the glass
The Glass Menagerie, the characters are all facing some sort of problems. One of the main character in the play is Laura Wingfield. The rest of her family consist of Amanda Wingfield , her mother and her brother Tom Wingfield. Laura lives in a fictional world with her glass figurines. Laura is terribly shy, and has no gentlemen callers. The important thing in the play The Glass Menagerie is the glass figurines. Laura struggles to be social in society . The play takes place during the Great Depression where families struggle to survive.
The glass menagerie is symbolic of the Laura’s life and personality. Laura resembles the nature of the glass animals due to her being a fragile character. She is extremely shy and can easily break down when is faced with adversity. For example, she is fragile as she sees her high school crush, refused to talk to him, and tripped knocking herself out. The unicorns represents how Laura is different than her peers around her. She stands out due to her shy and crippled nature. Similarly, a unicorn is unique because of its horn among horses. When the horn breaks off the unicorn, it represents that it can now be like the other horses to no longer be different. This is what Laura wants in her life.
The society in The Glass Menagerie is exceptionally intricate. Her own mother, Amanda, is very demanding of her and wishes her to have a gentleman caller. Amanda believes all young women should have dozens of gentlemen callers. She judges a woman’s worth by the amount of attention she receives from men and boasts about herself back then, "One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain – your mother received – seventeen! – gentlemen callers! Why, sometimes there weren’t enough chairs to accommodate them all. We had to send the nigger over to bring in folding chairs from the parish house" (Williams 8). Laura lives in a society that believes a man will support a woman. However, her own father runs out on their family and leaves Amanda
Laura Wingfield has chosen to hide from reality in the play The Glass Menagerie. She seems to live in a world of her own, and hides from everything and everyone outside of the apartment. Laura is terrified of anything new or different. Her mother sent her to business college, but Laura was so afraid that ‘The first time [they] gave a speed-test, she broke down completely – was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash –room.’ (p 243). Laura uses her limp as an excuse to hide from the world. She believes that her slight limp makes her crippled and that she cannot be a part of the real world because of it. Laura’s glass menagerie and the victrola act as things which protect her from the real world in the play. Whenever she is