Mosaics, Glass Shells, and the Power of Introversion.
Both Laura, a fictional character in the play, The Glass Menagerie, and Temple Grandin, the author of "Genius May Be an Abnormality: Educating Students with Asperger's Syndrome", can be categorized as introverts: Grandin, labeled with autism, and Laura, with "inferiority complex", as Jim calls it. Both abnormalities are analogous in the sense that both involve awkward social skills and self doubt, and a passion, or genius in one single thing. Laura, like children with autism, is crippled, she is "abnormal" to her society, and she is afraid of her own abnormality. While Amanda and Tom, like the parents of autistic children, polished Laura's little glass shell, Jim is the mentor that helps Laura embrace her true passion, and Jim symbolizes the breaking of her horn, the hammer that shatters her fragile cocoon of glass. In this way, Temple Grandin and Laura are similar in their path of discovering themselves, accepting and manipulating their introversion, and overcoming their fear of revealing their true self to others.The issue of introversion and extroversion, of social acceptance, and how the surrounding environment can affect those views within a person can be explored in both of these works of writing. .
While Laura and Grandin seem foreign and extreme in their respective "abnormalities", the issue of introversion and extroversion are in fact relevant in the entirety of global society today. To empathize with these characters, one must fully comprehend the meaning of extroversion and introversion. As Grandin explained in her essay, "the highly social, verbal thinkers who are in the educational system need to understand that their thought processes are different." While an extrovert craves social stimulation, introverts feel the most functional in isolated low key environments.