Guid Essay

Guid Essay

The Glass Menagerie’ Symbolism: Critical Analysis Essay – Free Essay Example

Throughout The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams utilizes numerous symbols to assist the characterizations of the people in the play. Each symbol provides a distinct meaning to each character. For example, the fire escape represents a path to the outside world for Tom, while it represents Laura’s inability to leave the apartment.

Tom, constantly unsatisfied with his situation desires an escape from reality, where he can be free of the restrictions his family places on him and the desolate job of working in a warehouse. Unable to satisfy his desires, Tom “goes to the movies because [he] likes adventure” (Williams 51). When engaging in such adventures, Tom leaves through the fire escape, which represents a literal form of escape for Tom.

On the contrary, the one time that Laura is forced to the fire escape, she trips, displaying that she is unable to escape from the apartment and leave as the men do. Additionally, the symbol of Laura’s glass unicorn is vital to her characterization. Laura struggles to socialize with others and chooses to confine herself to the security of the apartment. Her reserved nature is a result of her insecurities, as she often calls herself “crippled”. The glass unicorn symbolizes Laura’s uniqueness and unusual qualities. When Jim is invited to the apartment, Laura states that “[the unicorn] is her favorite one” (101). Jim replies by saying that “aren’t [Unicorns] extinct in the modern world?” (101). Jim’s remark emphasizes that the glass unicorn is symbolic of Laura’s qualities as she, similar to the unicorn, is pretty in her own way. When Jim insists on leading Laura in a waltz around the room, he bumps into the table, causing the glass unicorn to fall and shatter on the floor.

The unicorn shattering represents Laura’s broken heart and that it is not possible for her and Jim to be together. Furthermore, the symbol of Jim’s nickname for Laura “Blue Roses” symbolizes that Laura’s strange and unusual qualities are seen as special rather than attenuating. Jim calls Laura “Blue Roses,” a mispronunciation of “pleurodesis,” indicating how he doesn’t focus on Laura’s defect of her leg, but rather turns it into a nickname of enjoyment.

The name also serves as a reminder of the past as well as Laura’s attraction to Jim and the kind treatment and comfort he brings her. Overall, the uniqueness of the name “Blue Roses,” characterizes Laura’s extraordinary nature and appeal. Blue roses do not actually exist, demonstrating Laura’s uniqueness.

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