The Glass Menagerie Feminist Analysis

1183 Words5 Pages
The Glass Menagerie Feminist Perspective Feminist analysis is concerned with women’s power, with the representation of female characters and character dynamics. Laura’s character in The Glass Menagerie is a clear example of a woman without power. She is constantly at the whims and wiles of other characters, submitting to their decisions and unable to wield any kind of power, even something as basic as a generating an income. Laura and Amanda’s relationship in The Glass Menagerie is one of dysfunction and hopelessness. Both women have limited power, although Amanda is head of the house, she relies on Tom to survive and she brings Laura down every opportunity she has. ‘Amanda: Not one gentleman caller? It can’t be true! Laura: ... I’m not popular…show more content…
The symbolic link between Laura and the glass, particularly the unicorn which is eventually broken, dramatically reinforces Laura’s own short comings and weakness, particularly as this is an ongoing metaphor, ‘she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light ... not lasting.’ Descriptions of Amanda in contrast to Laura show Laura’s position as the weakest member of their family. Amanda is described powerfully, ‘Amanda ... stares furiously at Laura. She points imperiously...’, however, that power is frequently undermined by the absurdity of her problems or demands. As long as Laura is accompanied by other characters there is usually some semblance of normality but once she is left alone or confronted with a problem Laura’s weakness comes to the forefront, literally, due to the use of the onscreen images, ‘Laura is left alone. Legend: Terror’. Tom, in comparison to Laura and Amanda, seems exponentially stronger, suffering through a job he hates for the good of the family and he ultimately succeeds the most, getting away from the apartment and the closeted life he hated. Tom…show more content…
Having been shoved into one of these apartments and forced to work in the factory in the place of his father who’d previously run off to pursue more than what capitalism afforded him, Tom is impatient and dissatisfied with his life. ‘Tom ... strolls across the front of the stage to the fire-escape. There he stops.’ Tom starting the play, and spending much of his time, on the fire-escape provides an ironic kind of symbolism. The fire-escape literally gets Tom out of the apartment but symbolises his longing to explore the world and stay anywhere but where he is. The irony is that Tom never truly does escape, as he is haunted by the apartment and his family, ‘I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something.’ Tom’s father is the true figure of escape from the capitalistic system: , ‘he gave up his job with the phone company and skipped... out of town,’ his photo hangs over the fireplace symbolising Tom’s way

More about The Glass Menagerie Feminist Analysis

Open Document