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Laura, Tom’s sister, also uses objects to symbolize her desires. When trying to leave the apartment, she trips and falls on the fire escape. Falling symbolizes the loss of hope that we will see later in the play. She used to wear a leg brace. This brace represents her desires to be like everyone else. It can also be symbolic of a crutch. She could possibly feel that the brace was keeping her from being a normal young lady. When the brace was worn, she could use this as an excuse. She was also taking business classes that she could not complete because she was so shy. The anxiety of the classes made her sick. Withdrawing from school also symbolizes her unwillingness to change and her lack of faith in herself. According to Single, when Laura dropped out of school, she would spend time at the park (2010). Single said “this image and the solitary activities associated with it suggest a coldness about Laura. Like the image, Laura is lovely but cold and frozen in time” (2010, p. 162). This statement represents the desire to avoid living for the future, to live solely in the present. On occasion, Laura retreated to her Victrola. The Victrola also signified her desires to hang onto the past. This was something that her father enjoyed before he abandoned his family. The title of the play also acts as a symbol. We can assume just by reading the title that something is going to get broken. The unicorn in the glass menagerie symbolizes Laura’s desires to be accepted even if she is special and unique. The loss of the unicorn horn symbolizes that Laura is just like everyone else
The glass menagerie symbolizes this because it shows that Laura as an unreal image, not made of the human characteristics others possess. Drained of the courage and self-esteem needed to face the world, all that is left is a defenseless girl unable to face the world. The glass menagerie’s ‘frozen animal forms image her own immobilized animal or sexual nature, her arrested emotional development, and her inability to cope with the demands of a flesh-and-blood world’; (Thompson 15). The menagerie also symbolizes the change, which takes place when Laura is exposed to Jim. Jim reveals a side of Laura that the reader is not familiar with at this time.
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The Glass MenagerieSymbols are a significant a part of this play, as Tom, the teller, is a poet, and admits heincorporates a weakness for symbols. One major image bestowed within the story is that of thefireplace escape, a logo that incorporates a totaIt consists of glass animals frozen in form and it is housed at the Wingfield’s apartment. The glass menagerie has a high amount of meaning for all of the characters in this play. ‘Ultimately, the glass menagerie is symbolic of all their shattered dreams, failing to fulfill their transcendent aspirations, the Wingfields find themselves confined to a wasteland reality, their dreams become a ‘heap of broken images”; (Thompson 15). Just as the menagerie itself is frozen in time, the Wingfields are also. They are restricted to the one way of living that they have practiced as time had passed, so they do not know how to break free of that confinement. All the characters as a whole have tried to escape the harsh reality, but in every case they manage to fail, and in turn shatter their dreams like glass. This continuing struggle is a large part of the major theme of The Glass MenagerieThe Glass Menagerie describes the harsh realities people face in a modern world. In my opinion, The Glass Menagerie exposes the lost dreams of a southern family and their desperate struggle to escape reality. ... The glass menagerie symbolizes Amanda Wingfield's overwhelming need to cling to her past and her fulfilled fear of being alone. ... Rainbows in The Glass Menagerie symbolize hope and are associated with hopeful situations. ... None of the characters in The Glass Menagerie is capable of living in the present. ... In The Glass Menagerie there are many main symbols these are stage props, stage lighting and stage sounds. In regard to stage props the main ones are the glass menagerie, the fire escape and Mr. Wingfield's picture. Also in terms of stage lighting the main symbols are the candles, spotlight and the moonlight. And finally the main symbols for stage sounds are the Glass menagerie music, paradise dance hall music (PDH) and Laura's Victorola. Tennessee Williams generally uses symbolism in the play to deepen our understanding of characters and to emphasis the play's themes. The characters we understand in the play throughout this are Tom, Laura, Amanda, and Jim. The themes that are particular highlighted are dreams, time, communication and imprisonment. One of Tennessee Williams's first main symbolic symbols is his use of stage props. My first main focus is on the glass menagerie itself. First of all the glass menagerie symbolises Laura's delicacy, just like glass the reason for this is because Laura is very fragile and can easily be broken, mentally and physically. There is one specific part in the play where Jim is admiring her menagerie. There is one glass object that Laura really likes which is a unicorn, so she picks it up and gives it to Jim then Jim accidentally drops it. As it hits the ground the horn from the horse falls off, this breakage of the horse's horn could symbolise Laura's heart being broken by Jim.