Motifs in the glass menagerie

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  • 1. Motifs in The Glass Menagerie
  • 2. The glass menagerie
    • Represents being taken care of
    • Glass unicorn represents Laura’s fragility
    • Unicorn breaks; no longer different; Laura is now like everyone else – for a small while
    • Unicorn’s horn is its deformity; like Laura’s limp
    • Gives Laura a purpose in life; a reason to get up in the morning
  • 3. movies
    • Tom’s need for adventure
    • Tom’s need to get away from his mother; the warehouse; expectations of being something he isn’t
  • 4. Warehouse
    • Represents the dullness of Tom’s job; his life
    • To Amanda, it’s security
  • 5. Gentlemen callers
    • Happiness; a man makes you happy
    • Amanda was well-liked
    • Represent self-deception (Amanda will find someone for Laura)
    • Represent what Amanda could have had
  • 6. The fire escape
    • Someplace to get away (outside the apartment)
    • Laura falls; she cannot leave; must stay where she is
  • 7. The Yearbook
    • Laura wasn’t accepted socially
    • Reoccurring symbol of her past; limp, unpopularity
    • Shows how popular Jim was
    • Illustrates the contrast between Jim and Laura
    • Living in the past
  • 8. phonograph
    • Represents the father; Laura misses him; Amanda doesn’t like the reminder
    • Laura uses it as a shield against anything she doesn’t want to deal with.
  • 9. Father’s picture
    • Amanda’s fear that Tom will be like his father and move out
    • Memory of things past
    • Represents far away places and dreams of escape
  • 10. music
    • Sets a background of play as memory
    • Music from the dance hall serves as commentary on the action