Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie
In just about every piece of literature, there is some form of symbolism. Authors, poets, and playwrights use symbolism to add deeper meanings and messages for the readers within what they wrote. The Glass Menagerie also has various symbols within its writing but the one symbol that reveals the most about a character is Laura’s glass unicorn. Laura’s glass unicorn represents how fragile Laura was, her uniqueness, and her desire to be normal.Laura is considered to be disabled because one of her legs is shorter than her other one, so she often hid away. This caused her serious anxiety when interacting with people and doing certain things. She is as fragile as her glass unicorn.
For example, she dropped out of college because she was so overwhelmed with anxiety that she became physically ill. If she is put in situations that she deems dangerous or ones that make her anxious she tends to flee because she does not want to break like glass. Which why her glass unicorn symbolizes how fragile she is, because like her if put in situations that are dangerous for them they break.Laura is unique because of the way she acts and because of her disability much like unicorns. Unicorns are considered by many to be super unique animals because of their color pattern and the horn on their heads. Laura is very unique, especially in that time period not only because she is disabled but because of her anxiety and obsession with glass menageries. She is severely socially anxious and just anxious in general which keeps her from attending college, hanging out with other girls her age, and basically anything that is considered normal for her age. She also has what is considered to be a strange obsession with glass menagerie. She instead of having friends had her glass animals which she cared for obsessively.
The glass unicorn was her favorite one shows that she knows that she is considered to be peculiar and she identifies with the strangeness of the unicorn. Laura had a hidden desire to be normal that no one really knew about. This desire comes out when her brother Tom gets her a date with her high school crush Jim. She at first is overcome with anxiety and gets ill but eventually, Jim gets her out of the shell when he dances with her. While they are dancing, they knock over the unicorn and break off its horn. Laura calls it a blessing in disguise because now it is like the other horses. Jim’s advances on her make her feel like a normal girl her age, which is something she has wanted for a long time. After he kisses her and says he has a fiance, she gives him the broken unicorn because now that it is just a horses it is more fitting for him than her. The unicorn symbolizes her differences from everyone else, and when it loses its horn it shows that she wanted to be just like everyone else even though she is so different. The play The Glass Menagerie there are many symbols throughout the play but one of the most important symbols is Laura’s glass unicorn.
The unicorn represents that just like glass Laura is very fragile under pressure. Laura’s anxiety gets really bad when she is put in situations that trigger her like interacting with people. She gets physically ill, it is a bit like she is afraid of breaking like glass. It always symbolizes her uniqueness. The unicorn-like her is different from everyone else. Since one of her legs is shorter than the other and her anxiety is so crippling she is considered to be rather peculiar. To add to her being odd she does not have any friends but is obsessed with glass figures. Finally, the unicorn symbolizes that she wants to normal. This evident when the unicorn’s horn breaks off, she calls it a blessing in disguise, and she then gives to Jim. She just wants to be able to have dates like her mother did and socialize with people but for now, she is as peculiar as the unicorn used to be.
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