The fragile Laura is treated throughout the story as though she is breakable. When she attempts to do something, her family members, “come to her rescue” and prohibit her from finishing rather simple tasks. The family's regard for her fragility is shown when Amanda stops her from bringing in the blancmange, “No, sister, no, sister―you be the lady this time and I'll be the darky,” Amanda says, though Laura is already up. The family attempts to hide their protection from her and tells her little excuses, i. e., when Amanda explains by saying, “Resume your seat, little sister―I want you fresh and pretty―for gentlemen callers!” A similar situation occurs not long after when Laura tries to do a simple household chore and Laura rises insisting, “Mother, let me clear the table.” Though she shows genuine desire to clear the table, her mother denies her with the advice that she does something else, “No, dear, you go in front and study your typewriter chart . . . “ She is sheltered and protected; just like glass. When someone handles glass, it's with a gentle touch and care is taken to avoid it breaking it. The same concept is applied here. The family handles her with care because sh...
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...she hadn't been acquainted with many people, making her sort of lonesome.
During Jim and Laura's dance, Jim accidentally bumps into the table, sending Laura's favorite article of glass toppling onto the floor—the unicorn. Upon crashing into the floor, its horn was separated from the unicorn. Laura makes up a story to go along with the accident. “I'll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish! Now he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones that don't have horns . . .” The horn was symbolic of Laura's handicap. Laura feels that if she were to be cleansed of her handicap she would be like everyone else and wouldn't be as, “freakish.” Just as Laura tells Jim that blue is wrong for roses, people shouldn't be handicapped as horses aren't ment to have horns. In this view, she is the glass menagerie.
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