The Glass Menagerie Essay

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American Literature Research Paper Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is about a mother that just wants the best for her children. Her husband left her after her kids were born. She wants her youngest child to live a better life that herself, but in the end she loses her son and hope that her daughter will ever find the right guy. Her oldest child, Tom, struggles in his own way too. Throughout the book, there is symbolism on almost every page you read, such as the glass unicorn for Laura, the fire escape for Tom, and the father’s picture for Amanda. In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams used symbolism to illustrate the loss of hope for Amanda and her kids, Laura and Tom. The mother, Amanda, has had an interesting life. When she was younger, she had seventeen gentlemen callers, which was a huge accomplishment for her. Having many gentlemen callers means you are very well liked and “popular” and it made her feel like people actually loved her. She also had to raise two kids all by herself. Her husband, whose name was not mentioned, walked out on the family when the kids were very young. The family still Penn 2 remembers him through pictures, “the father’s portrait looms above the family on their wall, although he has been absent for years” (Drama 10). Even though he has not had a great impact on the lives of his wife and kids, he still is present in some way. Amanda treats Tom like he is still a little boy. She tells him how to eat, “Honey don’t push with your fingers. If you have to push with something, the thing to push with is a crust of bread. And chew-chew” (Williams 31). She thinks that with her guidance he can become a great man. Amanda gives him life lessons, “eat your food leisurely, son, and really enjoy it” (Williams 31). Amanda babies Tom because she wants him to set an example for what a man should act like for Laura, and

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