The Glass Menagerie


Tennessee Williams

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Blue Roses Symbol Analysis

Blue Roses Symbol Icon
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 are seen as special rather than debilitating. Laura is closely based on Tennessee Williams’s sister, Rose, who underwent a lobotomy while Williams was writing the play, and the nickname is also likely in tribute to her.

Blue Roses Quotes in The Glass Menagerie

The The Glass Menagerie quotes below all refer to the symbol of Blue Roses. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory Theme Icon
Scene 7 Quotes

They’re common as—weeds, but—you—well, you’re—Blue Roses!

Related Characters: Jim O’Connor (speaker), Laura Wingfield
Related Symbols: Blue Roses, Music
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
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Blue Roses Symbol Timeline in The Glass Menagerie

The timeline below shows where the symbol Blue Roses appears in The Glass Menagerie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 2
Memory Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
Escape Theme Icon
An image of blue roses appears on the screen. Laura sits in the apartment, polishing her menagerie of glass figures.... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
...of school for a while because she had pleurosis, but he misheard the word as “Blue Roses,” which became his nickname for her. Amanda declares that Laura will marry some nice man.... (full context)
Scene 7
Memory Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
...knew each other in high school. At first, Jim doesn’t remember, but when Laura mentions “Blue Roses,” he springs up with a vivid flash of recollection. They recall their chorus class together.... (full context)
Abandonment Theme Icon
Illusions and Dreams Theme Icon
Jim tells Laura that she is as uncommon as blue roses and says that someone ought to kiss her. He turns her toward him and kisses... (full context)