The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams English Literature Essay

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Based on the play Laura has a collection of glass, which her mom calls them, a menagerie. The collection is very delicate and breakable. Laura is slightly handicapped so the slightest things said could hurt her feelings or break her down. Just like the menagerie you could easily break them; the slightest bump of the table could make one break. Tom threw his jacket and accidentally hit one and it broke (292). The collection to Laura is very valuable, because she does not do anything or have any friends the collection is all she has. Laura spends the majority of the day cleaning them and putting them in different places.

During school Laura had gotten a nickname from a guy named Jim after her outbreak of pleurosis. When she returned to school Jim had called her "blue roses" (289). Blue roses symbolizes Laura because they are different it resembles her because she is not like every other girl. Blue roses are not flowers that you could just pick anywhere they are specially made. Jim gave her the nickname because he could not remember what was wrong with her. So, the first thing that came to mind was blue roses. But, blue roses fits perfect with Laura because she is absolutely different from everyone else. Laura has the disability that one of her legs are shorter than the other. So, because of that she feels like an outcast with everyone. She just does not realize that her differences make her beautiful. And Jim is one person who looks beyond her disabilities and see the beauty that she holds that no one else can see. Blue roses technically stands for "love" so for Jim to call her blue roses it shows that he can see the true person that she is. And he may not see what everyone else does.

Towards the end of the play Laura's brother Tom ends up setting her up with a gentlemen caller just so happens it is the same guy Jim that she liked in high school. Just so happens after Laura has the time of her life she ends up finding out that Jim is engaged to be married which crushes her. The night that Jim had come over he noticed that Laura had a unicorn in the collection. The unicorn represents Laura because a unicorn is different than all the other horses. Just like Laura a unicorn is unique and beautiful in its own way. Because Laura is slightly handicap it sets her off from everyone else. Well, a unicorn has a horn in the front of its head so it looks different from the rest of the horses. In order for you to see the beauty in the unicorn and Laura you have to look beyond the differences. And accept that not everything is beautiful on the outside. Jim teaches Laura that even though you may be different than everyone you have to open up and let people see the real you and your personality. Jim gets Laura to dance with him, as they are dancing he accidently knocks over the unicorn; the horn gets broken off (324). Although Jim feels extremely bad for breaking it because, he knows how important the collection is to her. Laura simply tells Jim that it is ok because now the unicorn is just like the rest of the horses (324). But, the horse fits her because she is nothing like the other people.

Some might think that none of these items represent Laura in any way and some may be right. Some might look at the menagerie as just a glass collection and think that it has no resemblance on Laura at all. Maybe blue roses and the unicorn have nothing to do with Laura either that maybe it is just a flower that does not technically exist through nature and they have to be human made. Or, think that unicorns are ugly and there is no beauty in them at all. Although everyone has their own point of view on what may or may not resemble Laura the three items are very close to how she is. Everyone can have their own judgment and may be able to pick out different symbols that could better fit Laura, but in the overall play there was no other symbol that clearly represented her in a way that those three objects did.

Over all, the play is well written and for being a memory play it is well told. There were many things that could have represented Laura but the glass menagerie, blue roses, and the glass unicorn just stood out the most. Those symbols were easy to show how Laura was in the play. And, for anyone who did not read the play they too could have understood what type of person Laura was. Because of Jim showing Laura the attention that he did the night that he went to her house it opened her up a little. Jim made Laura see that not everyone will look at her disabilities and judge her just on that. But, in order for someone to get to know her and see the type of person she really is she has to break out of her shell that is protecting her.

Work Cited

William, Tennessee. Glass Menagerie. Exploring Litereature: writing and arguing about fiction, poetry, and the essay. Ed. Frank Madden. 4th ed. New York; Pearson Longman, 2009. 281-329. Print.

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