Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie
We all have illusions. We can hardly live without them. Most of the time they are harmless thoughts about things that are usually unattainable. An example would be when a person sees something that they want and then dreams of having it. Whenever someone holds an opinion based on what they think is true, or in some cases what should be true, rather than what actually is true, then that is an illusion. Illusions sometimes help people cope with painful situations, but in the end, illusions are only a false escape from reality. The characters in the book The Glass Menagerie are each affected by their own different illusions. Tom, Laura, and Amanda all survive because their illusions protect them …show more content…
Even when he runs away from St. Louis, he takes along his memories as some sort of mental baggage. He can’t escape the past, however hard he tries. Escape, he finds in the end, is an illusion, too.
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.
“(L)-Most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie! Here’s an example of one, if you’d like to see it! I shouldn’t be partial, but he’s my favorite one. Haven’t you noticed the single horn on his forehead? (J)- A unicorn huh?/ I hope it wasn’t the little glass horse with the horn! (L)-Yes. (J)-Aw, aw, aw. Is it broken? (L)-Now it is just like all the other horses.
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“Oh, be careful- if you breathe, it breaks!” (968). People with strong personalities are not so easy to break, but a person with a low self-esteem is very vulnerable and tends to depend on others to succeed. The vulnerability of Laura, a character of The Glass Menagerie, is depicted by her glass figurines. She is so dependent on her mom and brother that she is unable to see the world as it is, so she creates one of her own.
In the play “The Glass Menagerie” each of the characters uses different escape mechanisms to avoid real life. Amanda, the mother, consistently tries to live in the past. Laura, the daughter, avoids the real world by using her own escape mechanisms; her glass figures, and her music and taking walks. Tom, the son, is always avoiding the real world by either going to the movies every night, or going to get drunk. Throughout this paper the reader will gain knowledge of how each character escapes from their everyday lives that they are living.
The glass menagerie symbolizes Amanda Wingfield's overwhelming need to cling to her past and her fulfilled fear of being alone. Amanda resents the poverty-stricken neighborhood in which she lives so
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
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
Laura spends most of her time with her collection. But the unicorn is Laura’s favorite. The broken glass unicorn represents her being different from others,“I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less-freakish! Now he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones that don’t have horns...”(Williams 86). The unicorn is the outsider of the horses and Laura is the outsider in her reality. Laura wishes she could fit in with her society and not be a freak.But she is comparable to the unicorn because it has to break to fit in. Laura has to break to fit in her society’s
Laura’s figures, especially the unicorn offered her a retreat from a society of which she feels disconnected from. Rather than facing the world, she lets her differences hold her back. She says to Jim about how she spends her days: “‘I don’t do anything—much… My glass collection takes up a good deal of time.’” In addition, by pointing out that unicorns are “extinct in the modern world,” Jim reveals the same point; that Laura is not a part of society because she has become comfortable with her dreary life, while letting her disability prevent her from having a meaningful future.
Laura is like this translucent piece of glass and when touched by light she shines with beauty and grace, taking on whatever color she desires. These elements of her little glass unicorn are exactly like Laura and making her an aberrant woman. There is glimmer of hope for Laura in scene 7, she and Jim, the “gentleman caller,” dance and he accidentally knocks over the little glass unicorn, causing its horn to break. She gracefully says “Horn! It doesn’t matter. . . .
Glass is an everyday object that serves a different purpose in each particular person's life. Its uses range from decorations to something as common as a household mirror. Others use glass to see more than just themselves; they use it to see the world. Additionally in the play, glass itself is an everyday object with a deeper meaning; the glass animals themselves are symbols of the uniqueness of individual people and Laura relies on them (like one would glasses) to cope with the world around her. Spectacles take something nonsensical, and turn it into a clear picture; much like how spectacles in the play, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, clarifies the theme of realism.
introduction to the play is one as a gentleman caller. When Laura describes her glass animals to
Written in 1944, Tennessee Williams wrote a play during World War II when people were barely making ends meet. Centering on the Wingfield family, the story consisted of five characters: Amanda Wingfield (the mother), Laura Wingfield (the daughter), Tom Wingfield (son, narrator, Laura’s older brother), Jim Connor (Tom and Laura’s old acquaintance from high school) and Mr. Wingfield (father to Tom and Laura, and Amanda’s husband)- who abandoned the family long before the start of the play. The title, “The Glass Menagerie”, represented a collection of glass animals on display in the Wingfields’ home. At one point or another, these animals then represented each character when they couldn’t accept reality. The theme of this play were about the
Laura appears to be the most important character in the play, perhaps the main character intended by Williams. Although she also engages in a world of illusion, hers is much different then Amanda's. She has no pretenses, no real faults to speak of. She is who
Since she has a disability, Laura finds it hard to communicate with the outside world around her and secludes herself within her fantasies that center on her animal figurines and musical demos. While scolding her daughter for quitting business school, Amanda exclaims to Laura: “So what are we going to do the rest of our lives? Stay home and watch parades go by? Amuse ourselves with the glass menagerie, darling? Eternally play those worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of him” (Williams 1637). Laura receives harsh
A person’s path to enlightenment and understanding can be tumultuous and challenging. In the play, The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, each character has difficulty accepting reality. This makes them withdraw into their own little world of illusion to find a sense comfort and peace. In The Glass Menagerie, the author presents the glass figurines as a metaphor for the Wingfield family along with other families during the Great Depression.