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The Glass Menagerie

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67 
  • Words: 849
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The play The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses

many symbols which represent many different things. Many of the symbols

used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between

reality and illusion.

The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape.

This represents the "bridge" between the illusory world of the Wingfields

and the world of reality. This "bridge" seems to be a one way passage.

But the direction varies for each character. For Tom, the fire escape is

the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world

of reality. For Laura, the fire escape is a way into her world. A way to

escape from reality. Both examples can readily be seen: Tom will stand

outside on the fire escape to smoke, showing that he does not like to be

inside, to be a part of the illusionary world. Laura, on the other hand,

thinks of the fire escape as a way in and not a way out. This can be

seen when Amanda sends Laura to go to the store: Laura trips on the fire

escape. This also shows that Laura's fears and emotions greatly affect her

physical condition, more so than normal people.

Another symbol presented deals more with Tom than any of the other

characters: Tom's habit of going to the movies shows us his longing to

leave the apartment and head out into the world of reality. A place where

one can find adventure. And Tom, being a poet, can understand the needs of

man to long for adventure and romance. But he is kept from entering

reality by Amanda, who criticizes him as being a "selfish dreamer." But,

Tom has made steps to escape into...


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