Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Glass Door Symbol Analysis

The Glass Door Symbol Icon
The glass door is the dominant image in a recurring nightmare the narrator experiences. In this dream, the narrator is separated from Chris and the rest of his family by a glass door. While his family urges him to open the door, the narrator refuses. This dream is likely based on an episode that transpired during Phaedrus’s hospitalization. The narrator’s failure to open the glass door and reunite with his family literalizes the barrier that his split identities have erected between him and his kin.

The Glass Door Quotes in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Glass Door. 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:
Quality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperTorch edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance published in 1974.
Chapter 24 Quotes

There has been a haze, a backup problem in this Chautauqua so far; I talked about caring the first day and then realized I couldn’t say anything meaningful about caring until its inverse side, Quality, is understood. I think it’s important now to tie care to Quality by pointing out that care and Quality are internal and external aspects of the same thing. A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares. A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who’s bound to have some characteristics of Quality.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker)
Related Symbols: Motorcycle Maintenance, The Glass Door
Page Number: 353
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia des

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Zen and the Art of... LitChart as a printable PDF.
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.pdf.medium

The Glass Door Symbol Timeline in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Glass Door appears in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
Identity Theme Icon
During the night, the narrator dreams that a glass door separates him from his wife and two sons. In this recurring dream, Chris asks him... (full context)
Chapter 23
Identity Theme Icon
Duality Theme Icon
The narrator’s recurring nightmare is described in detail. A glass door separates him from his wife and sons. The narrator realizes that his wife is grieving... (full context)
Chapter 26
Quality Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Duality Theme Icon
Zen Theme Icon
...ultimately concludes that he doesn’t understand it. He reflects again on his dream of a glass door separating him from his son, and wonders about its significance. (full context)
Chapter 27
Identity Theme Icon
Duality Theme Icon
This chapter describes in greater detail the narrator’s recurring nightmare involving the glass door . The narrator addresses the “figure in the shadows” that stands between the narrator and... (full context)
Chapter 31
Identity Theme Icon
Rationality and Irrationality Theme Icon
Duality Theme Icon
Chris asks the narrator why he refused to open the glass door between himself and his family at the hospital, and the narrator realizes that he may... (full context)