The understand the needs of man to

The play The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Williams uses many symbolswhich represent many different things. Many of the symbols used in the play tryto symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion. Thefirst symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This representsthe “bridge” between the illusory world of the Wingfields and theworld of reality. This “bridge” seems to be a one way passage. But thedirection varies for each character.

For Tom, the fire escape is the way out ofthe world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality. ForLaura, 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 tosmoke, showing that he does not like to be inside, to be a part of theillusionary world. Laura, on the other hand, thinks of the fire escape as a wayin and not a way out. This can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to go to thestore: Laura trips on the fire escape.

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This also shows that Laura’s fears andemotions 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 apartmentand 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 andromance. But he is kept from entering reality by Amanda, who criticizes him asbeing a “selfish dreamer.” But, Tom has made steps to escape intoreality by transferring the payment of a light bill to pay for his dues in theMerchant Seaman’s Union. Another symbol, which deals with both Amanda and Laura,is Jim O’Connor.

To Laura, Jim represents the one thing she fears and does notwant to face, reality. Jim is a perfect example of “the common man.” Aperson with no real outstanding quality. In fact, Jim is rather awkward, whichcan be seen when he dances with Laura. To Amanda, Jim represents the days of heryouth, when she went frolicking about picking jonquils and supposedly having”seventeen gentlemen callers on one Sunday afternoon.” Although Amandadesires to see Laura settled down with a nice young man, it is hard to tellwhether she wanted a gentleman caller to be invited for Laura or for herself.One symbol which is rather obvious is Laura’s glass menagerie.

Her collection ofglass represents her own private world. Set apart from reality, a place whereshe can hide and be safe. The events that happen to Laura’s glass affectsLaura’s emotional state greatly. When Amanda tells Laura to practice typing,Laura instead plays with her glass. When Amanda is heard walking up the fireescape, she quickly hides her collection.

She does this to hide her secret worldfrom the others. When Tom leaves to go to the movies in an angered rush, heaccidentally breaks some of Laura’s glass. The shattered glass representsLaura’s understanding of Tom’s responsibilities to her. Also, the unicorn, whichis important, represents Laura directly. Laura points out to Jim that theunicorn is different, just as she is different. She also points out that theunicorn does not complain of being different, as she does not complain either.And when Jim breaks the horn off the unicorn, Laura points out that now it islike the other horses, just as Laura has shed some of her shyness and becomemore normal.

When she hands the broken unicorn to Jim, this might representLaura handing over her broken love to Jim, as Jim has revealed that he isengaged to be married. As can be seen, there are quite a few symbols in thisplay. And a number of them have diverse meanings. Most of these symbols have adirect meaning in the author’s own life. This is understandable seeing that theplay is supposed to be “memory play.” It is obvious that this memoryplay is based on Williams’ own memories.BibliographyThe Glass Menagerie The play The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams,Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things. Many of thesymbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or differencebetween reality and illusion.

The first symbol, presented in the first scene, isthe fire escape. This represents the “bridge” between the illusoryworld of the Wingfields and the world of reality. This “bridge” seemsto 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 entranceinto the world of reality. For Laura, the fire escape is a way into her world. Away to escape from reality. Both examples can readily be seen: Tom will standoutside 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 thefire escape as a way in and not a way out. This can be seen when Amanda sendsLaura to go to the store: Laura trips on the fire escape. This also shows thatLaura’s fears and emotions greatly affect her physical condition, more so thannormal people. Another symbol presented deals more with Tom than any of theother characters: Tom’s habit of going to the movies shows us his longing toleave the apartment and head out into the world of reality. A place where onecan find adventure. And Tom, being a poet, can understand the needs of man tolong for adventure and romance. But he is kept from entering reality by Amanda,who criticizes him as being a “selfish dreamer.” But, Tom has madesteps to escape into reality by transferring the payment of a light bill to payfor his dues in the Merchant Seaman’s Union.

Another symbol, which deals withboth Amanda and Laura, is Jim O’Connor. To Laura, Jim represents the one thingshe fears and does not want to face, reality. Jim is a perfect example of”the common man.

” A person with no real outstanding quality. In fact,Jim is rather awkward, which can be seen when he dances with Laura. To Amanda,Jim represents the days of her youth, when she went frolicking about pickingjonquils and supposedly having “seventeen gentlemen callers on one Sundayafternoon.” Although Amanda desires to see Laura settled down with a niceyoung man, it is hard to tell whether she wanted a gentleman caller to beinvited for Laura or for herself.

One symbol which is rather obvious is Laura’sglass menagerie. Her collection of glass represents her own private world. Setapart from reality, a place where she can hide and be safe. The events thathappen to Laura’s glass affects Laura’s emotional state greatly. When Amandatells Laura to practice typing, Laura instead plays with her glass.

When Amandais heard walking up the fire escape, she quickly hides her collection. She doesthis to hide her secret world from the others. When Tom leaves to go to themovies in an angered rush, he accidentally breaks some of Laura’s glass. Theshattered glass represents Laura’s understanding of Tom’s responsibilities toher. Also, the unicorn, which is important, represents Laura directly. Laurapoints out to Jim that the unicorn is different, just as she is different. Shealso points out that the unicorn does not complain of being different, as shedoes not complain either. And when Jim breaks the horn off the unicorn, Laurapoints out that now it is like the other horses, just as Laura has shed some ofher shyness and become more normal.

When she hands the broken unicorn to Jim,this might represent Laura handing over her broken love to Jim, as Jim hasrevealed that he is engaged to be married. As can be seen, there are quite a fewsymbols in this play. And a number of them have diverse meanings. Most of thesesymbols have a direct meaning in the author’s own life. This is understandableseeing that the play is supposed to be “memory play.” It is obviousthat this memory play is based on Williams’ own memories.

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