A Glass Laura
In “The Glass Menagerie”, the characters are symbolized by certain items and feelings. It is these symbols that give the reader a deeper look into that character for which the symbol represents. Tennessee Williams used many symbolic aspects to describe Laura and
the world she lives in. Throughout the play, Laura and her glass collection have many similarities. Laura is shown as extremely fragile, shy, and withdrawn. Just as fragile as she says her glass animals are.
There are many factors that led up to the Laura that is presented in the story. One of the largest factors was her crippled leg. Throughout her life, her leg was the reason she became more and more withdrawn and shy. For example, at one point, the reader finds out that during high school, Laura was very shy due to the brace that she wore on her leg. She thought that her brace made loud noises when she walked with it and this made her very self-conscious. However, during the scene where Tom and Laura were alone he did not recall her brace making noises as she came in late. Her leg, as Tom puts it, is one of the reasons why she doesn’t have any gentleman callers. He tells her that she has an “inferiority complex” which basically means that she “low-rates herself.” (Williams 1001) Tom seems to be the only family member besides Laura to recognize her the way the rest of the world does. He says that she is “peculiar” and that “she lives in a world of little glass ornaments” (Williams 986). Both Tom and Amanda act as antagonists to Laura in their own ways.
Tom does his best to convince Amanda that Laura is not like regular girls. In the way he speaks of Laura, he implies that she has no expectations for herself or hope of ever getting married. Although Tom speaks brutally honest of Laura, I believe that Amanda plays the biggest role in stunting Laura’s self-esteem. Before Jim comes to dinner, Amanda tries to make Laura look better by stuffing her shirt. I think...