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Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie The play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams Williams uses many symbols which represent many different things Many of the symbols used in the play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion The first symbol presented in the first scene is the fire escape This represents the bridge between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality This bridge seems to be a one way passage But the direction varies for each character For Tom the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality For Laura the fire escape is a way into her world A way to escape from reality Both examples can readily be seen Tom will stand outside on the fire escape to smoke showing that he does not like to be inside to be a part of the illusionary world Laura on the other hand thinks of the fire escape as a way in and not a way out This can be seen when Amanda sends Laura to go to the store Laura trips on the fire escape This also shows that Lauras fears and emotions greatly affect her physical condition more so than normal people Another symbol presented deals more with Tom than any of the other characters Toms habit of going to the movies shows us his longing to leave the apartment and head out into the world of reality A place where one can find adventure And Tom being a poet can understand the needs of man to long for adventure and romance But he is kept from entering reality by Amanda who criticizes him as being a selfish dreamer But Tom has made steps to escape into reality by transferring the payment of a light bill to pay for his dues in the Merchant Seamans Union Another
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