Symbols and Symbolism Essay - The Symbolic Stage in The Glass Menagerie

Symbols and Symbolism Essay - The Symbolic Stage in The Glass Menagerie

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The Symbolic Stage in The Glass Menagerie




The symbolic stage properties in The Glass Menagerie reinforces the theme of escaping reality. Lack of a Father leaves Tom the responsibility of caring for the family. The responsibility acquired by Tom causes him to lack a normal life full of decisions and adventure. Instead, Tom is bound to his family by guilt and emotion. The only way Tom can feel that he is living the life he deserves is by escaping reality.


The fire escape, the only chance for survival in a burning building of crisis situation. In Tom's mind, there is always an emergency exit, a chance to escape. The fire escape in Tom's mind is going to the movies for the adventure that he does not get at home or work. The silk scarf that Tom placed over Lara's face is the same silk scarf that the magician used. The magician made things appear and disappear. Therefore, covering Lara's face with the scarf shows that Tom's wants Lara and her memory to disappear so he will not feel guilty about leaving the family behind.


Lara realizes that she can not sit around while she should be in college. Her mother shows her that she needs to take the initiative and go to school or get married. "School careers usually wind up getting married to some nice man"(1557). Amanda is telling Lara that she can not wait for the future to come to her, she needs to build her own future. Lara can not face reality and go so instead she visits penguins and plays with a glass menagerie. Lara's glass collection represents a world apart from others. She dreams of other lives and her imagination runs wild.

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Amanda needs to realize that she can not hold on to her children forever. Amanda needs to let her son Tom grow up and have his own life. She can not face reality, instead of facing the fact that her children are grown she wakes them up every morning and tries to have parent-teacher conferences. Amanda is afraid of losing her children the same way she lost her husband.


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