Symbolism in the Glass Menagerie Essay

Symbolism in the Glass Menagerie Essay

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In “The Glass Menagerie”, written by Tennessee Williams, symbolism is very prevalent throughout the text. Laura’s glass menagerie was the most easily identifiable symbol because of how relatable it was to the world she lived in. The fire escape was also another symbol that made its presence in the play along with the dance hall that was located just outside. The candles and rainbows mentioned also have some symbolic meaning, in my opinion, which could be left to the interpretation of the reader. Each of the symbols that Williams places in the text can be used to express a specific idea or theme as well as a character in a concrete manner. These subtle symbols that Williams provides create a better and more distinguished understanding of the characters relationships with one another.
We are introduced to Laura Wingfield at the beginning of play and can gather from her personality throughout the story that she seems to be living the furthest away from reality in comparison to the other characters. She has a glass collection that she takes extensive care of and because of her dedication to this glass menagerie, it’s almost as if she believes that the reality she lives in no longer exists and she can completely escape into this false world that she has made herself believe is real. Because of this belief, it has negated her chance to complete high school and it has also caused her to fail a typing class that she was taking. Laura’s mother also believes that her infatuation with her glass objects and distance from reality is what is keeping any “gentlemen callers” from contacting her.
The nickname, “Blue Rose”, given to Laura in high school by Jim, is another symbol for her personality. In my opinion, this has symbolic m...


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...o their own fantasy worlds. With all the characters, excluding Jim, trying to each escape reality in their own way, escape, or the idea of, was never truly reached by any of them. Based on this outcome, I feel that Williams is trying to say that in life you must face any problems that you have head-on, rather than to run away and avoid them completely.
In conclusion, escape and illusion, are two very prominent themes to be taken away from “The Glass Menagerie”. How these themes are portrayed by the author, though they aren’t blatant, they can be easily interpreted by the reader based on the context of the story. Understanding how the characters each used their own way of dealing with the monotony of their everyday lives by finding their own source of false reality, really attributes to the effectiveness of Tennessee Williams and his unique writing style.

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