Glass Menagerie Character Analysis

1026 words - 5 pages

A Glass Laura
In “The Glass Menagerie”, the characters are symbolized by certain items and feelings. It is these symbols that give the reader a deeper look into that character for which the symbol represents. Tennessee Williams used many symbolic aspects to describe Laura and
the world she lives in. Throughout the play, Laura and her glass collection have many similarities. Laura is shown as extremely fragile, shy, and withdrawn. Just as fragile as she says her glass animals are.
There are many factors that led up to the Laura that is presented in the story. One of the largest factors was her crippled leg. Throughout her life, her leg was the reason she became more and more ...view middle of the document...

Before Jim comes to dinner, Amanda tries to make Laura look better by stuffing her shirt. I think this has a bigger impact on Laura’s self-image than she lets on. I find her behavior to be somewhat hypocritical. On one hand, she argues with Tom that Laura’s “difference is to her advantage” (986), but on the other hand, when she is with Laura helping her dress for Jim, she said that she is “flat” (986). Clearly she is the most two-faced character in the play. I think that the worst thing that Amanda did to hinder Laura’s growth in life was set an almost unreachable standard for Laura. She is constantly telling her story about how she had “17 gentleman callers on Blue Mountain” and telling Laura and Tom how popular she was (967). By re-telling her story over and over again she set a standard for Laura that is simply unattainable. During these times, we as the readers are supposed to feel sympathetic to Laura because we know that she will never have these experiences.
The last factor I believe to have significantly dampened her self-image was the fact the Mr. Wingfeild left her family when she was still at a young age. When a parent leaves a family, the children usually blame themselves for tearing the family apart. I think when Mr. Wingfield left Laura and her family; Laura took it so hard that she shut herself off from everyone outside her family. Throughout the play Amanda also implies that she would be better off without Laura and Tom. For example, in scene one she complains that she could have been wealthy if she married one of her gentlemen callers instead she picked their father (968). This coupled with all the alienation from people at school and the tales from her mother that set impossible standards really is what gave her the withdrawn lifestyle she...

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