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The Glass Menagerie

             There are some people who live life within another life. They live in a world run by their imagination. In Tennessee Williams the "Glass Menagerie" the members of the Wingfield family are all trapped in menial existences. Enveloped in their delusions or leading impoverished lives of symbolic displacements, they are almost a family of outcasts. Laura Wingfield is the main focus, who is living in a world of glass ornaments. Amanda Wingfield, Laura's mother, suffocating in her own affections, places her desires indirectly towards Laura. Additionally, there is Tom Wingfield, Laura's brother, who is immersed within a world of movies. Laura resembles a wounded animal, mirroring her own fears of failure. The "Glass Menagerie" is deceptively simple on its surface-no more, it seems, than a single incident in the life of a small family. Laura's self destruction seems inevitable from the opening of the story. Low self-esteem, depression, and lack of any confidence what so ever marks Laura's descent into the emptiness of her own soul. It seems Laura really only wants to be left alone to collect her trinkets of glass. .
             In his play, "The Glass Menagerie", Tennessee Williams uses the imagery of a glass unicorn to help convey the emotional anguish of the character, Laura. The unicorn symbolizes Laura's feelings of being "freakish" (1487), which has made her a hermit. Laura's obsession with her glass collection is displayed throughout the story. It is obvious that her mother, Amanda, has berated Laura many times about her preoccupation with the glass, because while she is "washing and polishing her collection" (1452), Laura panics at the prospect of her mother finding her at it again. Once we have seen Amanda's tirade about Laura dropping out of business school, Laura's state seems licit. The glass now seems to be Laura's hopes and dreams of another life. She hasn't the courage to live a normal sociable life, but her fantasy world of the glass menagerie fulfills her need for more than the confines of the apartment.

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