The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

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The play The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams in 1943, is a story of a family thrown by fate in a big industrial city. In the author 's foreword Williams calls his work a “memory play”, and while seeking to express life as truthfully and brightly as possible, he rejects such artistic means as a "photographic likeness." The play is based on the nuances, hints, and is rich with symbols that is created by special design, using the screen, music and lighting. Undoubtedly, symbols are the glass unicorn and blue roses that appear on the screen as a symbol of uniqueness and vulnerability of Laura - the most touchy and unfortunate character in the play. However, the central artistic symbol of the play is Laura’s glass menagerie. According to the author, this glass is the Laura’s image: "When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass, you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken" (Williams, xxi). Fragile figures represent mental fragility of Laura, her fatality to live in a strictly limited space. Any attempts to break out from this “hothouse” existence end up for her as deplorably as for glass figurines that are being broken with one awkward movement.

The plot of the play is simple: Amanda, abandoned of her husband, desperately struggles in order to keep up in a devoid world. This is the more difficult that among the fire escapes and

the garbage cans on the rear yard she still lives with illusions of "southern lady", found herself in the harsh world of corporate America. Laura, her daughter, is “lamed” in the literal sense, and although physically her limp is barely noticeable, it expresses a mental “injury” — the inability of Laura to live daily life, to maintain the most ordinary hum...


... middle of paper ...


... has a girlfriend. The failure of the unicorn symbolizes the contact with reality, which ends in tragedy. “The holy candles on the altar of Laura’s face have been snuffled out” such a heartbreaking remark describes the depth of her devastation. (90; sc.7) For Laura it is a blow from which she will never recover.

To sum up, The Glass Menagerie is a profound and touchy play about human loneliness, and the inability to face the reality and the harm of ephemeral illusions. Tom leaves the family, Amanda and Laura flee from life into the dream world that inevitably occurs non-viable in conflict with reality. Stripping the defenseless of his characters, Williams exposes them with

sincere sympathy. With great warmth he describes the image of Laura, which is the most vulnerable of the characters, and whose misfortune responds most painfully in the hearts of the audience.

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