Essay on The Glass Menagerie Criticism

Essay on The Glass Menagerie Criticism

Length: 914 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

            “The Glass Menagerie,” is a woeful play, plagued by a missing father, a young man walking in the very father’s footsteps, and a mother whose only life is lived in the past. There is one other unfortunate member of this dysfunctional family—Amanda’s daughter, Laura. Laura lives in a fantasy world, afraid to face the reality of her crippled destiny. She exists in a world of glass, pretty and flawless. Laura represents the glass menagerie; this is reinforced by the disjunction of the horn from the misfit unicorn which in turn represents her handicap.
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...


... middle of paper ...


...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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

- Tennessee Williams of Columbus, Mississippi, and author of the play The Glass Menagerie creates a well-rounded character by the name of Tom Wingfield. The author reveals many aspects of this character throughout the play, which focuses on the memories of the three main characters that live in a St. Louis apartment in the late 1930s. As the story progresses, the reader observes how each of the characters unravel and unfold to their needs and wants. Tom is displayed as a character who lives in a world that is different from reality, so, therefore, he behaves in a fashion that makes him seem falsely selfish, creative, and adventurous....   [tags: The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams, The Play]

Better Essays
1259 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

- Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie       Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie gives readers a look into a truly dysfunctional family.  At first it could seem as if their lives are anything but normal, but Amanda's "impulse to preserve her single-parent family seems as familiar as the morning newspaper" (Presley 53).  The Wingfield's are a typical family just struggling to get by.  Their problems, however, stem from their inability to effectively communicate with each other.  Instead of talking out their differences, they resort to desperate acts.  The desperation that the Wingfields embrace has led them to create illusions in their minds and in turn become deceptive.  Aman...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
3150 words (9 pages)

Essay on Characters in The Glass Menagerie

- Characters in The Glass Menagerie Of the three main characters in Tennessee Williams’s ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Amanda is set to appear as the most dominant and in control. As the mother of the family unit the audience expects her to hold some kind of responsibility over her children as well as providing for them. The idea of the sense of duty she has for Tom and Laura’s future still remains even when the audience discover that the person financially supporting the Wingfields is actually Tom. Amanda Wingfield is in many ways like most parents....   [tags: The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams Essays]

Better Essays
614 words (1.8 pages)

Symbols and Symbolism in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie Essay

- Symbols and Symbolism in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie   The Glass Menagerie illustrates how Tennessee Williams incorporates symbols to help express the central theme of the play. One of the recurring symbols, apparent throughout the play, is that of the "glass menagerie" - symbolic of Laura herself. Another symbol for Laura is the glass unicorn. Still another symbol is that of the picture of the father - symbolic of freedom. These symbols play an important part in the development of the plot, as well as the theme of the play....   [tags: Glass Menagerie Essays Williams]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on the Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie

- Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie       The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a perfect example of how Williams incorporates symbols, tensions, and irony to help express the central theme of the play.       One of the most dominant symbols in the play is the fire escape.  It represents something different for each of the characters.  Tom uses the fire escape to escape from his cramped apartment and nagging mother.  Therefore, the fire escape symbolizes a path to the outside world.  For Jim, the gentleman caller, the fire escape represents a means of entering the Wingfield apartment and by doing so, entering the Wingfields' lives.  The mother, Amanda, s...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

The Glass Menagerie Essays

- Tennessee Williams’s character Amanda Wingfield, in The Glass Menagerie, is a bold and persuasive personality devoted to the past. Amanda was forsaken by her husband, and faced with raising two children alone during the great depression. Haunted by the rejection of her husband, she is determined to keep her children close. Even if keeping her children close means using guilt and criticism to manipulate every aspect of their lives. Amanda’s domineering behavior drove Mr. Wingfield away, and is now steering her son toward a similar escape....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Tennessee Williams]

Better Essays
802 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Psychoanalytic Analysis Of ' The Glass Menagerie '

- Psychoanalytic Implications Williams’ psychoanalytic narration in The Glass Menagerie covers the family dynamics of the Wingfield family. On one hand, the readers see that the entire family members share some amount of emotional and profoundly disturbing psychoanalytic problems. The father abandons the rest of the family and this leaves an emotional scar on Amanda, Laura, and Tom. Yet, the family does not deal with this deep-seated problem and Tom eventually replicates much of the behavior of his father....   [tags: Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud]

Better Essays
1868 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Glass Menagerie

- Glass Menagerie Fantasy Worlds and Their Symbolism Everyone has their own little world in which they indulge themselves in whether it be real or just a fantasy. In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, everyone in the play experiences their own little world, and the shock it is to be thrown from it. Tom supports his family despite his unhappiness. He tries to please Amanda by being the sole supporter of the family, but only gets rewarded by Amanda's constant nagging and suspicion. Eventually he finds himself more like his father as he seeks adventure in the movies and in drinking....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Comparing the Life of Tennessee Williams and Glass Menagerie Essay

- Parallels in the Life of Tennessee Williams and The Glass Menagerie     Tennessee Williams is one the major writers of the mid-twentieth century. His work includes the plays, The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. One theme of The Glass Menagerie is that hopeful aspirations are followed by inevitable disappointments. This theme is common throughout all of Williams' work and throughout his own life as well. It is shown through the use of symbols and characters.   "I have only one major theme for my work, which is the destructive impact of society on the sensitive non-conformist individual (Williams Netscape)." Symbols help to show the dreams and desires that the characters lon...   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
705 words (2 pages)

Essay on the Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie

- The Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie      Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, describes three separate characters, their dreams, and the harsh realities they face in a modern world.  The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. Williams' use of symbols adds depth to the play. The glass menagerie itself is a symbol Williams uses to represent the broken lives of Amanda, Laura and Tom Wingfield and their inability to live in the present....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)