The Glass Menagerie

Laura in the play?

How is Laura relate to the plot and theme of the glass menagerie?

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Crippled from childhood, Laura walks with the aid of a leg brace. Laura is painfully shy, unable to face the world outside of the tiny Wingfield apartment. She spends her time polishing her collection of tiny glass animals, her "glass menagerie." Her presence is almost ghostly, and her inability to connect with others outside of her family makes her dependent on Tom and Amanda. Jim's nickname for her, "Blue Roses," suggests both her odd beauty and her isolation, as blue roses exist nowhere in the real world. She is in many ways like Rose, Tennessee Williams' real-life sister. As a parallel to Rose, then, Laura becomes helpless and impossibly passive - rendered to a fate entirely dictated by Tom's own decisions. Laura's passivity, meanwhile, incurs a tremendous amount of guilt and repressed rage in Tom, who has trouble leaving as long as he thinks of his sister.Laura is connected with the glass. She has a sort of translucent beauty to her that is also very breakable. Yes, she is just as fragile as her little glass crystals. Laura is also emotionally fragile too. She runs away at the slightest of conflict. In many ways Laura is a caricature like her figurines. Her crippled leg is also a symbol of her fragility as well as the imperfectness of her glass sculptures and herself.