Free Glass Menagerie Essays: The Destruction of Laura

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The Destruction of Laura in The Glass Menagerie

In Tennessee William's play, The Glass Menagerie, the character of Laura is like a fragile piece of glass. The play is based around a fragile family and their difficulties coping with life.

Laura unable to survive in the outside world - retreating into their apartment and her glass collection and victrola. There is one specific time when she appears to be progressing when Jim is there and she is feeling comfortable with being around him. This stands out because in all other scenes of the play Laura has never been able to even consider conversation with a "Gentleman Caller."

Laura's mother and brother shared some of her fragile tendencies. Amanda, Laura's mother, continually lives in the past. Her reflection of her teenage years continually haunts Laura. To the point where she forces her to see a "Gentleman Caller" it is then that Tom reminds his mother not to "expect to much of Laura" she is unlike other girls. But Laura's mother has not allowed herself nor the rest of the family to see Laura as different from other girls. Amanda continually lives in the past when she was young a pretty and lived on the plantation. Laura must feel she can never live up to her mothers expectations. Her mother continually reminds her of her differences throughout the play.

Every time the family comes to a confrontation someone retreats to the past and reflects on life as it was back then, not dealing with life as it is for them today. Tom, assuming the macho role of the man of the house, babies and shelters Laura from the outside world. His mother reminds him that he is to feel a responsibility for his sister. He carries this burden throughout the play. His mother knows if it were not for his sisters needs he would have been long gone. Laura must pickup on some of this, she is so sensitive she must sense Toms feeling of being trapped. Tom dreams of going away to learn of the world, Laura is aware of this and she is frightened of what may become of them if he were to leave.

Laura feels she will never find someone that will take care of her. This is very upsetting because it is obvious that it is very important to everyone in the family.
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