The Glass Menagerie

Symbolism of The Glass Menagerie

In the play “The Glass Menagerie,” Tennessee Williams the author presents the glass menagerie as a metaphor for the Wingfield family and other families during the Great Depression. The author highlights the concept of the family’s vulnerability and how easily it can be shattered like glass. Laura shares a connection with the glass, and through the descriptive stage directions the audience can view the bond that links her to the collection. Williams uses foreshadowing through the breaking of a symbolic figurine to show the events that will occur within the Wingfield family and how everything will be forever different and broken, just like the figurine.

A menagerie is a varied mixture or a collection of foreign animals that are kept specially for exhibition. The glass menagerie is a metaphor for the Wingfield family. Each character is a different piece of glass that when together composes a family within a menagerie. Through their differences from the outside world the Wingfields a menagerie that is stared at for being different from the rest of the world. Laura and Tom are dreamers, but they cannot act on their dreams and desires. Amanda lives in the past and is separated from her children by this. The family composes a...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1174 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9061 literature essays, 2375 sample college application essays, 399 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in