The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

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What is the relationship between confidence and timidity? A lady named Laura with an unusual personality is presented in Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie. Laura’s family characterizes her as being nervous in front of people. The Wingfield family is very dysfunctional but typical at the same time. Amanda, Laura’s mother, is worried about the future of her children; although this feeling of protection is not enough to perceive Laura’s need for additional attention. Tom, Laura’s brother, is preoccupied with his job and he is busy thinking about how to change his life. Laura struggles to fit into society until she decides she is better off if she stays at home. No one notices how strange and unhappy this is for her except for an unexpected guest who changes everything. Laura lives a life of quiet desperation until she discovers who she really is and what really matters to her thus enabling her to live a more fulfilling life.
Laura does not have the strength to speak for herself in front of her family. When Laura leaves school, she hides it from Amanda. As Amanda is reproaching her, Laura explains to her that “[She] couldn’t face it” meaning that she could not tell her mother that she had quit (Williams 931). Laura does not trust her family enough to tell them what she thinks and why she constantly stops doing activities. She is even scared of talking to herself about it. Laura is insecure and she feels everyone hates her. She even says to Amanda, “I’m crippled!” (Williams 932). The escape Laura uses is a glass collection. In a conversation she has with Jim, she tells him, “Glass is something you have to take good care of” (Williams 966). Laura identifies herself with the glass. They represent her fragility. She is frus...


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...and someone who could perceive the splendor in her. Amanda could deal with the uniqueness Laura has but instead, she ignores it. After all, Laura is not introverted. Laura is yelling, in her own way, for attention and caring. Laura’s family does love her, but they are approaching her difficulties with solutions that are not appropriate ones. Laura requires help but she does not know what kind. She needs to build up her confidence, but she did not have the support until Jim appeared. The glass collection represents Laura. She is fragile and transparent as glass. Laura needs someone to tell her that she is beautiful and unique, and she deserves to be delighted with life. The Glass Menagerie uses symbolism to create this new Laura that is going to succeed, change and have more confidence the same way her glass unicorn breaks the horn to be like the other normal horses.

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