Symbolism Of The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams Essay

1363 Words Dec 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie
Symbols are used in literature to represent abstract ideas and thoughts. The use of symbolism is how authors convey their beliefs and messages to the reader and how they explicate on elements in their stories. In Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, he uses the symbolism of the fire escape to illustrate Tom’s character, Laura’s character, and his message about abandonment and escape in relation to human life.
One way Williams uses the symbolism of the fire escape is to inform the reader of Tom’s character in more detail. At the beginning of Scene III, Tom appears, in one of many times, near the fire escape, “Tom speaks from the fire-escape landing. ‘After the fiasco at Rubicam’s business college, the idea of getting a gentleman caller for Laura began to play a more and more important part in Mother’s calculations. It became an obsession’” (758). This quote describes how whenever Tom, as the narrator, is setting up a scene or talking, he always sits besides the fire escape. This action indicates that Tom as a narrator is more outlandish and more outgoing than Tom as a participant, mainly because he gets to escape his family and experience life like he always wanted to in his past, foreshadowing his abandonment of Amanda and Laura. He speaks truthfully and is not as cautious as Tom as a participant, especially when it comes to speaking about his mother. This also illustrates the fact that Tom as a participant yearns for his escape to the…

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