Essay on The glass Menagerie

Submitted By jesshale
Words: 610
Pages: 3

The Glass Menagerie
In Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, symbolism plays an important role. He uses symbolism to represent many different things. Symbolism can be used as characters, objects and scenery. Symbolism is great in that it can be interpreted in many different ways; each reader can draw their own conclusions about what they read. In this play, Tennessee Williams uses characters, the unicorn in the glass menagerie, the glass menagerie itself, the fire escape, as well as the lighting in the play to represent the lives of the characters. “Seeking escape, refuge, or rejuvenation, each imagines a different version of a transcendent reality” (Howells 528). The characters all symbolize different aspects of life. Amanda lives life in the “what could have been” if she had married someone else. She often recollects her youth and all the gentlemen callers that came. Since his mother is living in the past, Tom feels trapped by having to provide for the family and help to take care of his sick sister. Tom wants to escape, but his conscience keeps him from chasing his dreams. He represents wanting to live life but not able to because he feels obligated to stay; he feels like a slave. Laura is shy and crippled. These two things cause her to feel withdrawn and isolated. Laura represents those of us too scared to try in life because we are different. She finds a way to escape reality by collecting the glass menagerie. The glass menagerie itself is a symbol, but the main figurine is the unicorn. The menagerie represents the fragile and delicate being that Laura has become. The unicorn is her favorite of all the figurines. It symbolizes that she is so unique because she is so different. Once the unicorn is broken, it is now just like all the other figurines; it doesn’t stand out. This is a symbol that Laura can now be more accepted. The fire escape represents different things to the characters. Amanda sees the fire escapes as a way in while Tom sees it as a way out. Amanda sees it as a way for all the gentlemen callers to come in and hopefully keep her daughter from becoming an old spinster. Tom often uses the fire escape instead of the front door. Tom views it as his way to escape troubles at home, all the pressures he feels from supporting the family and feeling trapped. The lighting is used in various ways to give a different meaning. “The