What Is The Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie

1205 Words5 Pages
Confinement through Glass
Tennessee Williams once said “We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.” In The Glass Menagerie, by Williams, the main character has a collection of glass animals that serve a greater purpose rather than being just for display. The play focuses on the idea of people being trapped and struggling to escape their reality. The play also mentions many characters and symbols throughout, but the glass animal collection gives the play a greater meaning.
Laura Wingfield, who is 23-years-old, is the owner of the glass animal collection. “The Glass Menagerie is fragile and delicate, just as Laura” (Shmoop 1). Amanda is her mother and hopes that Laura will meet a “gentlemen caller” just like she did when she was younger. Tom is her brother and the breadwinner for Amanda and Laura. Although Tom does not care for the glass animals like Laura does, they still pertain to him when it comes to symbolism. There is another character that Williams mentions, Jim, as being Laura’s high school sweet heart and someone who went to school with Tom.
Laura has not had an easy life as she did not have
…show more content…
Shaland notes, “Laura was given only a momentary glimpse of normal existence before she drifted back into her dark prison – to the no-time of her glass animals” (123). The glass collection does not just pertain to Laura as Durham states, “This symbol is relevant to the other characters also, for their ability to exist at all in the world rests on illusions as easily destroyed as the unicorn” (5). Tom has had enough of Amanda and wants to leave but she asks him “Jeopardize the security of us all?” (Williams 1618). Even though Tom leaves the Wingfield house, he ends up missing his family, especially Laura, after seeing a piece of glass one night. He cannot escape his guilt and love for his
Open Document