The Tragic genre can be defined as literature where the main character suffers heartache caused by flaws, moral weaknesses and an inability to cope with reality. The play is semi-biographical to Williams in that the characters reflect his family, with Tom being a drunkard as Williams himself was an alcoholic and Laura representing his sister Rose who was capacitated with Lobotomy.
The character of Laura stands out in the play as one of the most predominant at not being able to deal with reality. gIn the second scene where Laura is talking to her mother Amanda. Here we see how Laura has lied to her mother about going to Business College. She couldn’t face going to the college and even states that ‘I threw up- on the floor’, which suggests that Laura is incapable of facing the reality of the real world, the world of work.
We also see her ineffable reluctance to enter the real world with the way in which she lives her life. Laura is quite happy to stay at home and play with her Glass Menagerie, a collection of glass animal ornaments, and winding up her victrola. The desire to live her life doing this rather than face the real world is emphasised in the argument scene between her mother and her brother, Tom. In this scene we see Laura stuck in the middle of the fight- ‘with clenched hands and a panicky expression’ – her only escape from the acceptance of the fight is to sit and wind her victrola.
Another way in which we see Laura relying on the unrealistic world she lies in is her fall down the fire escape-‘I’m alright. I slipped but I’m alright’ - this indicates how she cannot face going into the real world outside her comfort zone of the house and the Glass Menagerie, even if it is only to purchase butter from the local store.
Tom’s memory of her having ‘unearthly beauty’ suggests that Laura is beautiful but not in the conventional way but rather as something that doesn’t fit into the normal world. Moreover her favourite glass animal, the unicorn, can be...