Student analysis of The Glass Menagerie

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Student analysis of The Glass Menagerie For the scene you have been given, explore the following elements and proud CE notes that can be presented in class and be shared via the blob. Quick summary Of what happens in the scene and the subject Of conversation a. Jim keeps Laura company while the power is out. She tells Jim that she had a crush on her in High School and watched all his shows. Meanwhile, he talks about being nominated as “Most Likely to Succeed” by his peers but he has not yet achieved his full potential. He studies night school in Telecommunications. Laura introduces her glass menagerie to Jim.

He diagnoses her with inferiority complex because of her lack of goldfinches. Jim encourages Laura to dance with him however, while they are dancing, they bump into the TABLE and break Laurel’s favorite animal of the collection The unicorn. Jim then kisses Laura. However, he tells her that he is previously engaged to a girl named Betty, whom he has “strings to” and Jim therefore has to leave. Amanda gets angry at Tom for not questioning Jims status before he visited, calling him a “manufacturer of illusions”. Then, Tom angrily bursts out and leaves the house. He leaves to work for the

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Merchant Navy and the play closes with Tom seeing a “mime” of Amanda and Laura eating dinner together, he says goodbye to Laura, she blows out the candle and the play ends. 2. Themes a. Love Manta’s desperate attempt to try and get a gentleman caller to visit. Doesn’t want Laura to end up an old maid. There exists family love between Tom and Laura, on the night he comes back from “The movies” and is drunk. Then there is genuine family love from Amanda, who despite her overbearingly on Tom, wants what’s best for him like in the scene where she places the lamp by his side as he is writing. . Tom: Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than intended to be! (52) b. Being Trapped (breaking away from it) Tom being trapped in the confines of the family, the apartment and his career. Amanda is trapped in parenthood, having to take care Of her two children without a husband. Laura is trapped in her tidiness and “inferiority complex” and cannot blend with other people. C. Responsibility vs.. Need to live one’s own life Laura not going to business college and going to the zoo to look at the animals.

Tom wanting to leave the house to escape the confinement. He also watches movies and drinks as to escape. D. Fragility Tom’s fragility is his dissatisfaction with his life, wants to go out and live an adventurous life and not rot with the life he lives. Amanda is fragile because she continually refers to her past when 17 gentleman callers simultaneously visited her; she is stuck in the past. Laura is fragile because of her inferiority complex which hinders her 1. From socializing normally with others. E.

Memory The cost of leaving, of leaving Amanda and Laura, is the burden of remembering that he left his family at the an arduous time. While he may have freedom of body, he will never gain freedom of mind as he will always remember his fragile sister. I. Ironically, this is another form of confinement. Tom: I would have stopped, but was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise (Williams 51 f. The American Dream Set against the economic problems of the Winnfield family, the theme of the American dream is shown.

In spite of her impoverished life, Amanda is a believer in the American Dream. She tells Tom that he simply has to work hard and he will succeed. This idea of the American Dream is further exacerbated when Jim arrives and tells Laura of his aspirations. He is in love with the achievements and the promise of technology and he works hard to achieve it through education. He believes that there are rewards to be taken when one works hard and believes that he can go as far as he wants to go in his career. (Williams, 37) 3.

Staging devices sighting: A moment after the curtain rises, the lights in both rooms flicker and go out ” (Williams, 43) Lights go out during the dinner is a symbol of the dimming hopes of Amanda to make the dinner with Jim successful because up until then, the dinner has not gone according to plan. (Tom sing the money for the electric bill to pay for the Merchant Navy and Laura not feeling well from seeing Jim again). It is used as a rather inauspicious beginning to the final scene of the play. However, it could be used as a foreshadowing device for a romantic climax because of how it is linked to the soft light shining on Laura (see b) b.

At the opening of the scene, ” The new floor lamp with its shade of reoccurred silk gives a soft, becoming light to her face, bringing out the fragile, unearthly prettiness which usually escapes attention. ” (Williams, 34). Significant lighting because it adds to the horizontally of Laura, links her image to that of an Angel (use of the word “unearthly’), because despite her physical and metaphorical fragility, she still emanates a radiant, yet soft glow. The word “unearthly also links her allusion to being like the unicorn In her glass connection.

The Unicorn is a mythical creature, and similarly to Laura, is viewed as very solitary, yet mysteriously beautiful as Laura is described with respect to the light. C. After Jim reveals that he’s already engaged, the ” holy candles in the altar of Laurel’s face have been snuffed out This is significant as Laura is often portrayed as being angelic, a celestial being in the soft light. This is also corroborated by the fact that she wears white clothing. Jims admission of being engaged snuffed out the light which a. Represented hope for escaping Laurel’s confinement. D. I. Ore on light in the symbols section Screen Device: “l don’t suppose you remember me at all” (Williams, 36) The legend represents the beginning of the conversation between Laura and Jim f. “What have you done since High School? ” (Williams, 42) This indicates the beginning of the conversation between Jim and Laura grading what they have been up to since High School. G. “Blue Roses” (Williams, 46) This legend is used as a cue for the music change. Because Laura is not aware of why Jim calls her “Blue Roses”. This shows a progression to the climax because Jim begins to compliment Laura. . “Souvenir” (Williams, 47) Significant because it is shown after Jim kisses Laura. This moment they share is a metaphorical souvenir for Laura because she has experienced her first intimate moment like many other women. Similarly, she gives Jim her favorite unicorn on page 48. I. “Love! ” (Williams, 48) Jim talks about the love he experiences with Betty. He tries to explain that it is a great thing but when he explains that he was previously engaged to Betty, it was as if he built up Laura on false hope and confidence after dancing and kissing her. . “Things have a way of turning out badly! “/”Gentleman caller waving goodbye! ” (Williams, 48) Laura is speechless because of the way things turned out. This is supported when she gives a ” look of almost info niter desolation ” (Williams, 48). It is as if she has retreated back into her solitaire nature because her dialogue from this moment on is short and limited, like it was when Jim first approaches her. . “The sky falls! ” (Williams, 50) Significant because it is said that the sky would fall when the world ends.

This happens when Tom crosses the line by kissing Laura, when he was aware that he was already engaged to Betty. Metaphorically, this can mean a shattering of the confidence of Laura, because Laura barely speaks from then on. It supports her trait of being fragile. L. “And so goodbye… ” (Williams, 51) This legend indicates the end of the memory, as it happens right after Tom bursts out the house. It also brings the audience back to where the play began, in SST. Louis where Tom narrates from, he is now a member of the Merchant Ana e.

Music: he Glass Menagerie ” is Laurel’s personal song and it plays on page 43 when Laura gently hands Jim the Unicorn from her collection in her trust “Go on, I trust you with him! ” (Williams, 43). This is significant because before this scene, Laura was practically the only person handling her glass connection. The fact that she is sharing it with Jim indicates that she is welcoming him into her fragile life. Metaphorically, Laura is making her transformation into “one of the other horses” and is becoming less timid through her opening herself to

Jim as they engage in normal conversation. Jim also appreciates the uniqueness and the beauty of the Unicorn and this instance foreshadows the moment where he kisses Laura. Waltz Music: La Colonizing ” the music indicates the dancing between Laura and Jim. Jim teaches Laura how to dance, because her inferiority complex prevented her from doing so previously. The song is a song of farewell described with a “wandering swallow” because it was a favorite among Mexican Expatriates who missed their home. It is mellow and melancholic to show the calm of the moment. O.

The play closes with a silent pantomime. The silent pantomime brings he audience full circle, the play opened with a mime meal, now we are presented with a more sorrowful ceremony. The visual image of mother and daughter, mutually reassuring one another with smiles and gestures is touching. The fact that it is silent and only the facial expressions are seen suggests the state of memory that it is for Tom, it reminds the audience that his narration was a memory. It could also possibly suggest that Tom wants to help Laura especially because of his brotherly love.

However, the fact that it is a “mime” is significant because it represents the memory as a fading one, it is a “copy’ and tie possibly, Tom would rather not deal with the memory anymore, when he says ” Blow out your candles, Laura and so goodbye (Williams, 52) Link these to purpose and broader elements of the play such as characterization, themes etc Example of the use of staging devices in the play: JIM: “No, Ma’am, not work but?Betty! ” [He crosses deliberately to pick up his hat. The band at the Paradise Dance Hall goes into a tender waltz. ] AMANDA: “Betty?

Betty? Who’s?Betty? ‘ [There is an ominous cracking sound in the sky. ] Williams uses obvious, dramatic effects in order to reflect the mood of the characters in the play. It is also important as it can show how memory can alter reality. 4. Development of characterization, through Development of Amanda: “I’m not exaggerating, not one bit! … Because Episcopalian gave card parties. (Williams, 3536) In this quote, Amanda reminisces the past, which shows her attachment to living in a different time and place. She is living in her illusions of the past.

The significance of Episcopalian is that it is a branch of the Anglican Chris stain Church, she comments on the foolishness of the congregants at the Church, h once the idea of religion to her is not taken seriously. Laura: “Mother calls them a glass menagerie! ” (Williams, 43) shows that Man ad feels that Laura is wasting her time with her ‘collection’, so she uses a negative e word to describe the Laurel’s collection. Defined as a “collection of wild animals kept captivity for exhibition” also refers to each of the characters being trapped in t he play. Amanda comments on their situation as a family. Where was Moses when the lights went out? ” (Williams, 34) is meant to ridicule Moses the great leader whom God empowered to split the Red Sea to help the e Israelites out of Egypt. However, Williams juxtaposes his greatness with his airlessness at the time of the power failure in Manta’s apartment. Man ad is presented as a realist because she mocks religion and believes that believing I religion will not help a family out of poverty. Williams could also be comments Eng on the extent of poverty during the Great Depression, the population was losing hope that they let go of religious beliefs.

Development of Laura: “Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands. ” – E. E. Cummings Like her other relatives, Laura also retreats from reality. While her mother and brother retreat back to the past and back to alcohol and movies respectively, Laura spends her days going to the zoo, or polishing her glass, or playing records. She has had minimal social interaction with anyone outside her family and even her brother is unTABLE to release her from her confinement. Until Jim arrives. Jims easygoing, positive manner lets the shy Laura open up about her dreams, her interest, making her human and releasing her from her confinement.

Jim understands that Laura just needs someone to appreciate her for who she is. With this, there is a brief moment in which the audience thinks that there is hope for Laura after all as it seems that there is a duding relationship between Laura and Jim. However the reverie soon crashes as Laura finds out that Jim is engaged. While Jim is making this confession, Laura is looking at her broken unicorn and decides to give it to Jim (Williams 48). This may be a sign that Laura is TABLE to move on, but her physical actions and directions from Williams reveals that she may have gone back to her previous state.

This can be seen as our last image of Laura during this scene is of Laura gripping the sofa, struggling visibly with her torment (Williams 48). After his confession, Laura also goes back to winding up the Victoria, which was en of her escapes. Glass is also broken again and she screamed (Williams 51 ). However, in the last part of the scene, in Tom’s monologue, the audience is given a view of Laura smiling and this can argue that Laura has moved on instead or was forced to cope without Tom (Williams 51 Quotes from/on Laura: Laura: “l don’t do anything’s.

Oh, please don’t think I sit around doing nothing! ” (Williams, 42) Laura refers to her pretty banal life, she does not have much to do. Laura: “Well, I do as I said have my glass collection” (43) compared to Amanda, Laura calls it a collection. She spends a great deal of time with it. Eve n to the extent that she talks’ to the glass animals. “I haven’t heard any arguments among them! ” (44) Jim: “They’re as common as weeds, but you well, you’re Blue Roses! ” (46). To Jim, Laura is a unique person. He also thinks Laura is pretty in all respects ha ends, hair, eyes, etc.

Jim: “You know what judge to be the trouble with you? Inferiority complex’ (4 2) Laura: I’ll just imagine he had an operation. The horn was removed to make hi m feel leakiness’s! Now he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones t hat don’t have horns (46) Jim: Laura, you know, if I had a sister like you, I’d do the same thing as Tom. I’d bring out fellows and introduce her to them. The right type of boys of a type t o appreciate her. (47) Development of Tom: Amanda: I might have known better than to trust him with it! There’s such a hi GHz price for negligence in this world! 35) Tom: The more you shout about my selfishness to me the quicker I’ll go, and I won’t go to the movies! (51) Amanda: Go, then! Then go to the moony selfish dreamer! (51) Tom: Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful t Han I intended to be! (52) Jims name for Tom: While Tom states that his frequent absences to a cabinet in the warehouse to write poetry is why Jim calls Tom “Shakespeare’, it is also an eponymous allusion into the works of Shakespeare himself, especially the plan Y Romeo and Juliet .

Tom brought Jim and Laura together, and they can be considered as sort being starched lovers. Development of Jim: In scene 1, Tom tells the audience that Jim “is the most realistic character in the e play, being an emissary from a world of reality that we were somehow set apart fro m” (Williams 3). Idea of the American Dream is represented more by Jim. He believes that his life is on an upward trajectory, and that if he studies and plays his cards right, he can g o as far as he wants to go in his career.

While he has an overly optimistic view in life, it certainly much more realistic, especially when it is compared to the Winnfield s, who are all trapped in their own respective prisons and illusions. “Somebody needs to build your confidence up and make you proud instead o f shy and turning away and blushing Somebody’s to ought to kiss you, Laura! ” (Williams, 47) 5. See of symbols a. The Glass Unicorn Can represent Laurel’s uniqueness. Jim points out that unicorns are extinct and are different from all other horses. With her disability, Laura is unusual and is lonely as well.

As Jim makes his advances on Laura, a smallholder version of this is also happening on the unicorn. As Jim, a “gentleman caller”, talks with Laura, she is quietly transforming into a normal girl. This same thing happens to the unicorn as it loses its horn, making “just like all the other horses” (Williams 45). She has become comforTABLE in Jims warmth. She lost her inferiority complex when she’s talking to Jim. /Jim says he IS ‘pretty clumsy with things’ (P. 3) when Laura gives him the unicorn to hold. After the dance he will break not just the ornament, but also her heart like the unicorn she favors and identifies with.

Staging: [She carefully places the unicorn in the palm of his hand, then pushes his fingers closed upon it]. Possibly showing how she will revert back to her old ‘inferior’ self, as giving away the unicorn represents giving away her change to becoming ‘normal’ Glass menagerie: Represents the fragility of Laura since her youth. Overtime one of the animals break, something bad happens to her, with the exception of when Jim visits. I. Laura: Glass is something you have to take good care of (Williams 42) c. Fire Escape: Symbolizes Tom’s route of escape whenever he leaves every night to “Watch movies”.

It also symbolizes his desire to leave the house, that his escape from the banal life he lives is so close to him, but he remains at the house. D. Light: In the first section, the failure of the lights is symbolic. Tom’s deliberate nonpayment of the bill signals the beginning of a new, difficult era for Amanda and Laura, who will have to learn to live without a male breadwinner. When the lights go out, we know that those hard times have begun. The failure of the lights also signifies the hopelessness of Manta’s dreams for her daughter. /The light motif runs right through the scene.

Ultimately, the light motif is used to demonstrate the incompatibility of Laura and Jim, who, ironically get along well together. There would have been a chance if Jim had not already met Betty ‘on a moonlight boat trip’ (P . 48). Williams stage directions make it clear that knowledge of Jims attachment to Betty b. Deals Laura a blow from which she is unlikely to recover: ‘the hold candles on the altar of Laurel’s face have been snuffed out'(P. 48). In he last lines of the play Tom draws our attention to the fact that his sister doesn’t belong in Jims modern world of ‘knowledge Zip!

Money Zip! Power! ” (P . 43). The narrator associates light with Laura as if she is something precious to him still. E. Blue Roses: Jims old nickname for Laura is Blue Roses and this can represent Laurel’s uniqueness and mysterious beauty if linked to her being like a unicorn. It is impossible for someone to find blue roses in the natural world. This helps fit Jims description of her as Laura is a amelioration girl. I. Blue Roses as a name was only given to Laura by a mistake. When Laura said that her illness was pleurisy, Jim thought she said Blue Roses.

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