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Broken Glass Essay

The Glass Menagerie refers to the fragile world of dreams, and illusion. Within the play Williams uses characters who face solitary struggles in an emotionally, physically, and financially starved surrounding. During the course of the play, a glass unicorn gets broken, symbolizing the fragile nature of a dream world. It’s more than coincidental that the play’s title refers to the collection of glass animals that belongs to Laura.

The title of the play gives symbolism to the lives of Tom, To find relief from his boring, tedious and tressful life along with his mother’s constant nagging abuse, Tom goes to movies “nobody goes to the movies night after night” (1874) and dreams about future adventures for himself. To maintain with frustration and anger Tom sometimes uses bitter humor, like when he calls himself “Killer Wingfield” (1875) and “El Diablo” (1875). Watching adventures on the movie screen offers Tom another way of living, possibly one that he wishes he could be in.

Laura has withdrawn from the reality of her disability and her mothers concern by always playing with collection of glass animals, a real glass menagerie. Whenever there was an angry exchange of words in the house Laura frequently shut herself away to her private, imaginary world to mope and finger the miniature glass world. Instead of attending Rubicam’s Business College, Laura has been taking walks in the park and visiting museums. “I went in the art museum and the bird-houses at the zoo. I visited the penguin’s everyday! ” (1871) She is so fragile that she can hardly function in the real world.

Illusion may be angerous for Laura since the menagerie serves as a Amanda has lived most of her life inside a glass menagerie, refusing to accept reality about her miserable existence and the handicap of her daughter. Williams shows the family in downfall, with certain members holding badly to past visions of greatness. She does not accept the loneliness and poverty that surrounds her, but desperately clings to her romanticized version of her past “Eternally play those worn-out phonograph records your father left as a painful reminder of him”.

She lives in a glass enagerie, a world that is built on illusion and that can be easily broken. Symbolism makes it clearer that her The lives of Tom, Laura, and Amanda are all symbols of different types of glass figurines; different glass menageries. Amanda’s world of illusion is shattered by the truth of her existence. She is an older woman with no gentleman callers, and neither of the Wingfield children are able to really escape from their past. Laura remains trapped in her world of glass animals, while Tom escapes from his mother and sister to become a sailor.

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