Glass Menagerie What Was the Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Laura is mortified by Amanda's attempt to make her seem sexual and attractive because she is so shy. She had a crush on Jim when she was in high school but is convinced that no man can love her because of her physical disability. Laura, unlike Amanda, is not focused on the future and what she will do to make a living. When Jim tells her that he is engaged to be married, Laura's brief hopes for love and normalcy are shattered and she seems to withdraw from the world. Amanda is also shocked, but the event enables her to see Laura clearly -- after Jim leaves Amanda says that Laura is crippled for the first time in the play. But she is unable to understand her own role in Laura's tragedy and instead blames Tom for the evening and the fact that he did not know that Jim was engaged.

Amanda clearly lives in her own world and has her own vision of reality. She is not particularly concerned with her children's true natures and their emotional needs. She is very driven in a materialistic way and thinks that if her children can get ahead through marriage and good jobs, they will be well. But Amanda's attempts to impose her vision of reality upon Laura only make her daughter more miserable and cause her daughter to become more shy and self-conscious, ultimately making Laura unable to survive outside of the world of the apartment.

Q4. Discuss the title of the play. It has both a literal and symbolic meaning. What are they?

The literal meaning of the title The Glass Menagerie is a reference to Laura's collection of fragile glass animals, which she spends hours dusting and tending to. Like Laura, the animals are delicate, beautiful, and easily broken. Symbolically, Jim accidentally breaks the horn of the unicorn, causing the unicorn to become an ordinary horse. This demonstrates how Jim makes Laura feel normal and less freakish for a moment. But like glass itself, Laura's moment of happiness is shattered quickly. And like glass, Laura seems unable to function outside of the very carefully-tended world of the apartment.

The title could also refer to all of the characters in the play -- all of the Wingfields are fragile, glass animals that are misunderstood by the world and easily broken when they are not taken care of properly. They are all different kinds of 'animals' but all…

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