Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie Essay

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Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie      From the beginning, the figure of the narrator shows that Williams' play will not follow the conventions of realistic theater. The narrator breaks the conceptual "fourth wall" of naturalistic drama by addressing the audience directly. Tom also tells us that he is going to give the audience truth disguised as illusion, making the audience conscious of the illusory quality of theater. By playing with the theme of memory and its distortions, Williams is free to use music, monologues, and projected images to haunting effect. Tom, as narrator, tells the audience that the gentleman caller is a real person‹more real, in many ways, than any other character‹but he also tells…show more content…
The qualities of glass parallel Laura's characteristics: like the tiny glass animals, she is delicate, beautiful in her oddness, terribly fragile. The little collection, like Laura, in an entity that is locked completely in the realm of the home. The animals must be kept on a little shelf and polished; there is only one place where they belong. In a similar way, Laura is kept and cared for, dependent on her mother and brother for financial support. The Blue Roses are another important symbol of Laura. The image of blue roses is a beautiful one‹and it is the image that is on the screen at the start of Scene Two. But blue roses are also pure fantasy, non-existent in the real world. Laura, like a blue rose, is special, unique even, but she is also cut off from real life. When Tom accidentally breaks some of the pieces in the glass menagerie, the incident foreshadows Laura's heartbreak later on in the play. The event emphasizes the collection's fragility, and so metaphorically we are reminded of Laura's fragility. Tom is the one responsible, and the pain of his position is made clear. As much as he would like to live his own life, his actions have a great effect on the well-being and security of his mother and sister. By being reckless, he destroys the pretend-world of his sister. Later on, he chooses to live his own life rather than live up to his responsibility for her security.      One of the play's important themes is the conflict between
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