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Williams Use of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams play The Glass Menagerie over the years has become a classic It is a true story in which Williams places himself as the narrator and one of the main characters of the play The story relives the horrors of the Great Depression and the effects that it had on many peoples lives The main characters in the story are Tom Wingfield Amanda Wingfield Laura Wingfield Jim OConnor and only what is left of Mr Wingfield a photograph Tom Wingfield has been left behind by his father to provide for his neurotic mother Amanda and his desperately shy sister Laura Amanda has all but given up hope for Laura to find a suitable gentleman caller Now it is left up to Tom to find someone for Laura Throughout the play Williams uses many scenes and props to symbolize many important underlying facts The first of many props that Williams chooses to symbolize is the fire escape At the beginning of the play Tom recalls The apartment faces an alley and is entered by a fire escape a structure whose name is a touch of accidental poetic truth for all these huge buildings are always burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation Roberts and Jacobs 1582 To Tom the fire escape symbolizes an escape to life Whenever things were too unbearable inside the apartment Tom would retreat to the fire escape There he was able to see the rest of the world Tom also used the fire escape for a permanent escape When he finally left his family he said I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed from then on in my fathers footsteps attempting to find in motion what was lost in space Online Williams also uses Lauras glass unicorn as a symbol Since Laura is so pain-fully shy the fact that she has a
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