The Use Of Symbolism In The Glass

Menagerie Essay, Research Paper

Symbolism is an facet used in several novels of today & # 8217 ; s and yesterday & # 8217 ; s universe. In the book, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Willams, symbols are a major portion of this drama. As Tom, the storyteller, is a poet, and admits he has a failing for symbols. There are three

outstanding symbols in this drama that stick out more than anything.

One major symbol presented in the narrative is the fire flight, a symbol that has a different significance and map for each character. For Tom, it is a manner of flight from fire, non the normal type of fire that would necessitate a fire truck, but & # 8220 ; the slow and implacable fires of human desperation. & # 8221 ; This is particularly true of Tom & # 8217 ; s flat. His female parent, devastated after her girl Laura & # 8217 ; s failure to get by in concern college, becomes obsessed with happening her a gentleman company so that she can get married and be good supported. When this company eventually comes, and it seems like it was meant to be, as they dance and snog, he announces he is engaged, and destroys their hopes. The ever-fragile Laura, temporarily drawn out of her dream-world shell of her glass aggregation and the Victrola, draws farther back into herself. Now a awful despair fills the flat, and Tom decides he must get away the suffocating environment to follow his ain naming. The fire flight to him represents a way to the outside universe. For Laura, the fire flight is precisely the opposite & # 8211 ; a way to the safe universe interior, a universe in which she can conceal. Especially symbolic is Laura & # 8217 ; s autumn when falling the stairss to make a job for her female parent, after go forthing the security of the flat. This autumn symbolizes Laura & # 8217 ; s inability to map in society and the outside universe. For Amanda, the fire flight is symbolic of her hopes and dreams & # 8211 ; hopes and dreams that a gentleman company will get to get married her girl and go forth her good supported. This is the manner Jim comes into the flat, at the clip when Amanda & # 8217 ; s hopes have been peaked. It is symbolic that Laura does non desire to open the door when Jim arrives. It shows her reluctance to allow a messanger from the universe of world, symbolized by Jim, invade the comfy non-existence of the flat, and her insecurity in covering with the exterior


Another repeating symbol in the narrative is that of the glass menagerie itself. This represents Laura & # 8217 ; s oversensitivity and breakability. The first clip the menagerie is mentioned in any item in a symbolic mode is when Tom and Amanda have a heated statement near the beginning of the drama. Tom ends it by naming Amanda an & # 8220 ; ugly babbling old enchantress & # 8221 ; , and struggles to set his jacket on, purpose on go forthing. When he can non set the coat on decently, he becomes frustrated with his awkwardness, and throws it across the room, interrupting some of the glass aggregation. Laura & # 8220 ; calls out as if wounded & # 8221 ; . This shows how delicate Laura truly is, and how she r

eacts even when their is a little alteration in her milieus. The most outstanding usage of this symbol comes at the turning point of the narrative, when Jim is left entirely with Laura. The conversation turns to Laura’s glass aggregation, when she comments “glass is something you have to take good attention of.” , once more demoing her breakability. More analogues are shown between Laura and the glass aggregation with the debut of the unicorn. Jim says “Poor small chap, he must experience kind of lonesome” to which Laura replies “He corsets on a shelf with some Equus caballuss that don’t have horns and all of them seem to acquire along nicely together.” The unicorn becomes a symbol for Laura–she is different. When Jim and Laura dance, and Jim by chance knocks the unicorn off the tabular array and its horn is broken, it loses its singularity. Similarly, when Jim kisses Laura and so shatters her hopes by stating her that he’s engaged, she becomes broken-hearted, and less alone. Part of the artlessness that made Laura so different is gone, because both Laura and the glass menagerie interruption when exposed to the detached outside universe. When Laura gives Jim her broken unicorn, it symbolizes her broken bosom that Jim will take with him when he leaves. The unicorn is no longer alone like her, instead it is common now, like Jim, so she lets him maintain it. Merely as she gives Jim a small spot of herself to take with him, he leaves behind a small spot of himself with her shattered


Finally, the symbol of rainbows is used throughout the narrative, but is less outstanding and obvious than those of the fire flight and the glass menagerie. Rainbows are traditionally a symbol of hope, and each clip the symbol is presented it is in a hopeful state of affairs. For case, when Tom comes back from the thaumaturgy show with a rainbow-coloured & # 8216 ; charming & # 8217 ; scarf, that can turn goldfish into Canary Islandss, who fly off. Just like the Canary Islandss, Tom besides hopes to wing off, from his flat. Following, the pendants which create rainbow contemplations at the Dance Hall can be seen as boding for the dance between Jim and Laura, which gives Laura hope that her jobs are solved. And at the terminal, when Tom looks at & # 8220 ; pieces of coloured glass, like spots of a tattered rainbow, & # 8221 ; he remembers his sister and hopes that he & # 8220 ; can blow her tapers out & # 8221 ; . There is besides a batch of sarcasm tied up in this symbol, in that although rainbows seem to be positive marks, they all end in letdown.

Tennessee Williams has managed to make a fantastic and powerful drama utilizing a combination of different elements, with one being symbolism ; the fire flight, as a sense of hope, and an flight both to the outside universe and from it ; the glass menagerie, a symbol for Laura & # 8217 ; s breakability and singularity ; and rainbows, as symbols of unfulfilled hopes and aspirations. Through these symbols a greater apprehension of the subject is realized, and & # 8220 ; The Glass Menagerie & # 8221 ; is made into a powerful heroic poem.

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