Free Glass Menagerie Essays: The Temporary Metamorphosis of Laura
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The Temporary Metamorphosis of Laura in The Glass Menagerie
Laura Winfield in The Glass Menagerie goes through a temporary metamorphosis during the course of the play. She is a slightly crippled and very shy young girl who is having a hard time finding her way in the world. She is hopeless and beautiful all at the same time. She is trapped in a world that is spiraling quickly into doom.
Laura lives in the St. Louis of the Depression with her restless brother Tom and her half-mad, overbearing mother Amanda. Her father left the family for a life on the road. "He worked for the telephone-company and fell in love with long distances." This left Tom as the only breadwinner in the family and her mother in a desperate and touched condition. Tom got a job in a warehouse. He deeply resented this and craved freedom and adventure. He would disappear every night to go to the movies to find his release. This would soon be not enough, though, and both Laura and her mother sensed this. The mother constantly hounded Tom. She would continually point out every flaw he had. They would erupt into fierce arguments that made it difficult to tell if she was deliberating with Tom or his absent father. Her mother was from the south; a place called Blue Mountain. She was a beautiful girl there and had a lot of gentleman callers. She pined bitterly over the loss of this place and time and the poor choice she made in husbands. Even if Laura had no physical defects it would have been hard for her to succeed given these circumstances.
At the beginning of the play Laura is wrapped up in her own little world of glass creatures and phonograph records. She is afraid of people and afraid of the world. She is like one of the inceptions in her glass menagerie. She is a thing of fragile beauty in a hard world. She doubts herself and her abilities. Her mother, though, is determined to see that her daughter does not become a victim of her situation. Her mother tries, almost too hard, to see her daughter through. It is, however, through her mother's attempts that we see the temporary metamorphosis of Laura.
In scene two we find out that Laura's mother has discovered that she has dropped out of business school.