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The Glass Menagerie

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by

English Project

on 27 November 2013

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Transcript of The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie
Imagery and Symbol analysis
Thesis
The images used in the play develop a negative mood and change the atmosphere, in terms of emotion, tension, and setting in relation to the characters. With that said, the characters have difficulty accepting reality, and with this the symbols are used to highlight who the characters are.
Images Used
music
death
magic
Laura's Glass Menagerie
Isolation
Lack of Communication
Trapped vs. Escape
Music
Death
Magic
Laura's Glass Menagerie
Isolation
Lack of Communication
Trapped Vs. Escape
Symbols Used
Unicorn
Blue Roses
Yearbook
Glass
Photographs
Fire Escape
Coffin
Clothes from the past
Jonquils
Phonograph
Pirate Ship
Unicorn
Blue Roses
Yearbook
Glass
Photographs
Fire Escape
Coffin
Clothes from the past
Jonquils
Phonographs
Pirate Ship (jolly Roger)
Each character lives in their own fantasy world, not wanting to be living in reality. Tom tells us about a magic show he attended as a child and how the magician escapes a coffin without disturbing the nails or destroying the wood on the outside. This is the kind of magic that Tom wants to be capable of, as it symbolizes how he wants to leave Amanda and Laura without disturbing anything around them and himself.
All of the characters have their own way of escaping; Amanda lives vigorously through Laura, Tom drinks and goes to the movies as the movie lets him escape his own life, and Laura escapes into the fantasy world of the Glass Menagerie and lives her fairytale life within it. However regardless of their individual escapes they are all trapped inside as none of them have a way of escaping the real world, and are all trapped with each other.
Throughout the play the unicorn is a constant representation of Laura; therefore it has great significance. The unicorn is different, rare, one of a kind, and extremely fragile, very much like Laura. However as the play goes on the unicorn's horn is broken whilst Jim is with Laura. This is significant to the fact that the unicorn is now a regular looking horse, and since Laura has spent time with Jim and has been kissed, she is now a normal girl who has lost her innocence; and Jim receives the unicorn as a "souvenir" of Laura and how he destroyed her.
The fire escape is a true escape for Tom. This symbol is a foreshadow for the following events in the play as Tom does truly escape from the house. However he cannot escape the memory of Laura and Amanda, therefore he can physically escape but never mentally.
The coffin is a symbol that represents Tom and how he wants to escape the world of Amanda and Laura without disturbing them. This is a representation of Tom because regardless of how badly he wants to leave them, he still does not want them to be disturbed and torn up like the coffin once hes gone. However he does exactly that and leaves them destroyed.
Photographs represent memories and seeing as this is a memory play, some photographs are spoken about, shown and mentioned. From the start of the play, the picture of the father is kept on the wall. This is a reminder of a painful memory that happened in their family and is a way of holding onto something thats familiar. The idea of escape isn't possible with this picture still hanging up.
The yearbook is a memory from Laura's past, it reminds of her a time when she met Jim, a boy that she was quite fond of.
Laura's glass menagerie represents her and some of the aspects of her personality. When light shines through glass at the right angle, a rainbow is shown. That is similar to Laura. She seems to be clear and almost boring and shy on the outside but on the inside is a ray of colours and different emotions. Bringing about her innocence and wonderment makes us realize that sh is more than she seems and the imaginitive world that she lives in is with her glass creating happiness and a special more comforting home.
Jonquils represent Amanda's past when she was a young pretty southern belle. Her suitors used to bring her all these jonquils and the flowers represent narcissism and how she is engulfed in her own past glory days. The flowers remince the past and show what Amanda wants for her daughter. She is more excited about the gentleman caller than Laura is, essentially living her past again, but this time through her own daughter.
Glass is transparent, but when light shines through it refracts a rainbow. This is similar to Laura because from the outside she seems dull and clear around strangers. However, when you get to know her better you see her true colours. Glass can also symbolize the enticing illusions of her imagination. She is also very fragile, which is another way in which she can be compared to glass. They are both things which can be easily shattered.
Not only does Laura escaoe reality through her glass menagerie but her phonograph records as well. These records once belonged to her father and are a constant reminder of how easy it was for him to leave them and have left everything behind.
blue roses represent the unattainable, it is created from our imagination and is only exists in man made environment. The blue rose represents Laura both physically and in its deeper meaning , laura is both delicate and rare and like the blue rose she exists a fantasy world of her own where she is disconnected from reality
The yellow dress represents hope and happiness which are the traditional meaning of the colour yellow, however on the other hand it also represents deceit, the yellow dress is a fitting representation of Amanda as it reflects her false hopes that cannot be achieved.
the lack of communication shows the relationship of how each of the characters interact with people, within the society and among themselves
the lack of communication creates misunderstanding and negative consenquences that in turn create, a tense atmosphere among each of the characters,
Laura, Tom and Amanda are all isolated individuals. Their isolation leads them to want to escape their realities, each of whom does so in a different way. Laura escapes through her glass menagerie, Tom escapes through his visits to the movies and his drinks, and Amanda escapes by trying to relive her youth through her children.
Although there isn't a tragic death throughout the play, the families emotions can be symbolized through death. Death is portrayed through their emotions and their hopes. When Jim comes along it gives them hope. When he leaves he kills their hopes once more. When Tom ends up leaving them, their emotions and hopefulness is shattered once more.
The pirate ship represents Toms character, it shows toms love for the movies and also his desires to try something new
Music is used to enhance the mood within the play.
Full transcript