The Glass Menagerie

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The Glass Menagerie is a story about a mothers desire, a brothers help, and a gentlemen caller – all who try and help a crippled girl named Laura.Laura has been crippled since childhood and walks with a leg brace. Painfully shy, she is happiest when playing old records and polishing her collection of glass animals (the glass menagerie of the title).Laura's obsession with her "glass menagerie" is the strongest example of escapism in the play.
Tom (Laura's brother) is the main source of financial support for himself, his mother and sister, and so he goes dutifully to work every morning at the Continental Shoemakers warehouse, settling for a proletarian existence while his poetic soul yearns for adventure. Amanda (Laura's mother) tries to make the best of the situation by pointedly ignoring Tom's disappointment while nagging at him to cheer up and chew his food. Her constant carping would be enough to annoy anyone, but it is particularly difficult for Tom to stomach, so he self-medicates with movies and alcohol.
Tom would likely have left long ago had it not been for his sister. Laura, fragile, and frightened, holds him in place. She suffers from nerves so weak she has trouble leaving the tiny apartment and is incapable of either supporting herself or helping to support the family. Keeping herself occupied with meticulous care for her glass animals, it is Laura's need that keeps Tom from following in his father's footsteps.
One night, Tom brings home a friend from the warehouse… in hopes that by finding someone who will love Laura, he will also find someone who will take her away, and leave him free to do what he wants.
After dinner, Laura and Jim finally chat. Atfirst she is shy, but gradually she begins to talk and even laugh. She expresses the fact that when they knew each other she had felt embarrassed in front of him because of the brace that thumped loudly. “I had tha…

The Glass Menagerie

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In his play, “The Glass Managerie’, Tennessee Williams uses the imagery of a glass unicorn to help convey the emotional anguish of the character, Laura. The unicorn symbolizes Laura’s feelings of being “freakish” (scene seven) which has made her a recluse.
It is in the second scene that the author begins to reveal Laura’s obsession with her glass collection. Laura is lying back gazing into a crystal and seems to be lost in her own private world when she suddenly hears her mother approaching. It is obvious that her mother, Amanda, has berated Laura many times about her preoccupation with the glass. We know this because Laura panics at the prospect of her mother finding her at it again. Once we have seen Amanda’s tirade about Laura dropping out of business school, Laura’s state seems licit. The glass in this scene seems to be Laura’s hopes and dreams of another life. She hasn’t the courage to live a normal sociable life, but her fantasy world of the glass menagerie fulfills her need for more than the confines of the apartment.
Later, in scene three, Amanda’s critical remarks toward her son, Tom, provokes an argument. Laura nearly cowers as she watches her brother and mother yell at one another. It is in this scene that Tom accidentally breaks some of Laura’s precious glass collection as he rushes out the door. When Tom turns to pick-up the glass, he is unable to express his remorse for having shattered something so precious to his sister. The symbolism of the glass in this scene seems to represent Laura’s emotions. The author directs that she remain in plain view, even though she doesn’t speak, so that the audience can see her suffer through the heated argument. As the audience watches her agony, they will begin to feel some of the anguish that Laura undergoes. Laura feels at fault for the tension in the house, knowing that most of her mother’s worry comes from Laura’s neediness. When the glass shatters, it represents the shattered …