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Glass Menagerie

In Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie, Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things. Many of the symbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or a link to a world of illusion. Just a few of these are the fire escape, the movies, and even more important, Laura's glass unicorn. Williams uses numerous representations in his play to create a more elaborate story for the reader. Some are very subtle such as the blue roses flashed across the screen. These may represent the melancholy attitude of Laura. Many, however are much more glaring.The first symbol, presented in the first scene, is the fire escape. This represents the "bridge" between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality. While it may be a symbol of passage to all the charachters, it seems to have an individualized meaning to each of them as well. For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality. For Laura, the fire escape is a way into her world. A way to escape from reality. Both examples can readily be seen: Tom will stand outside on the fire escape to smoke, showing that he does not like to be inside, he would rather venture out into the world. As Tom seeks a route outward, Laura, thinks of the fire escape as a way into her own private place where she is safe from reality. This can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to go to the store and Laura trips on the fire escape. She uses it much more directly to shield her from the harsh world that she despises. This also shows that Laura's fears and emotions greatly affect her physical condition, and perhaps even begin to throw doubt on the degree of her handicap. Another symbol presented deals more with Tom than any of the other characters. This is Tom's habit of going to the movies. It shows us his longing to leave the apartment and head out into the world away from the confines of the same rooms he ha...

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