The Glass Menagerie


Tennessee Williams

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Glass Menagerie

The title of the play, and the play’s most prominent symbol, the glass menagerie represents Laura’s fragility, otherworldliness, and tragic beauty. The collection embodies Laura’s imaginative world, her haven from society. The old-fashioned, somewhat childlike… (read full symbol analysis)

Fire Escape

Tom frequently stands on the apartment’s fire escape, a literal and figurative temporary release from the confines of his daily life. Tom smokes on the fire escape, removing himself from the metaphorical domestic fires by… (read full symbol analysis)

Glass Unicorn

The glass unicorn, Laura’s favorite figurine, is particularly representative of how Tom envisions Laura: beautiful but magical and unique. When Jim breaks the glass unicorn, it becomes a normal horse, no longer a magical creature… (read full symbol analysis)

Blue Roses

Jim calls Laura “Blue Roses,” a mispronunciation of “pleurosis,” a disease that caused Laura to miss some school during high school. The name “Blue Roses” turns Laura’s defect into an asset: her unusual, otherworldly qualities… (read full symbol analysis)


Tennessee Williams's stage directions frequently call for music to underscore key moments in a scene. “The Glass Menagerie” theme repeats frequently throughout the play. Laura and Amanda associate music with the absent Mr. Wingfield(read full symbol analysis)

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The Movies

Tom escapes to the movies night after night, immersing himself in action-adventure films, envisioning himself as the hero of narratives other than the one in which he's stuck. Yet the movies can only provide a… (read full symbol analysis)


For Laura, the typewriter symbolizes the confines of the business world that she escapes by walking in the park or immersing herself in her glass menagerie. For Amanda, the typewriter comes to signify… (read full symbol analysis)