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What does the symbol of the glass menagerie mean?

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Introduction

What does the symbol of the glass menagerie mean? The glass menagerie, in the play of the same name, is a powerful symbol in the play. It is almost a character in its own right (Hence the title of the play). The glass menagerie is not simply a stage prop; this questionably, adds a subtle fantastic element to the play. The reason I use the word 'subtle' is because the menagerie is not referred too, as being anything other than a glass menagerie, or collection of glass animals parse. The clever thing Tennessee Williams did though was use "The Glass Menagerie" as the title. This subconsciously makes you more aware of any slight mention of the glass menagerie. ...read more.

Middle

(Not that one would ever refer to their mother as an old fashioned whatnot.) Yet still there is that tenuous link, alluring almost. Especially when you consider the later references towards the glass menagerie. However, the more likely argument is that the words were chosen, due to the writer's meticulous (Bordering on arrogant) attention to detail. The next indication of the glass menagerie is when Laura is sat down. Laura is rather overdressed in her own surroundings. "She is washing and polishing her collection of glass." This creates a very interesting parody. On one hand you have Laura behaving motherly, she is looking after her glass animals. Taking care of them, in the same way that her own mother has presumably overdressed, and taken care of her. ...read more.

Conclusion

She sarcastically remarks that they might: "Amuse (themselves) with the glass menageries." This obviously hurts Laura, even though it is not mentioned. It takes Laura a full page to silently answer back. She does this by reaching "Quickly for a piece of glass". Laura probably regarded this as a moral victory. Further emphasizing Laura's severe level of shyness. Also highlighting her dependency on these inanimate objects. She seems to rely whole-heartedly on the glass animals, as if they possessed some sort of tender life force for Laura. I think that perhaps, this could be some deep-rooted desire to be a mother. A mother that shields her children, in a similar nature to the way her own mother protects her. I suspect Laura would probably try and be a completely different mother, but pen ultimately being identical, producing true irony. ...read more.

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