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What is the meaning of the title The Glass Menagerie?

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orangewoodchr... | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted September 22, 2009 at 11:47 PM via web

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What is the meaning of the title The Glass Menagerie?

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Tennessee Williams staged his play "The Glass Menagerie" in the year 1944 in Chicago.  The word 'menagerie' means a collection of wild animals kept privately or for the public to  view.

In the play Laura has her own private collection of glass animal dolls and the play is called "The Glass Menagerie" after Laura's collection of glass animal dolls. In Scene 7 Laura shows Jim the Gentleman Caller this  collection and remarks,

"most of them are little animals made out of glass, the tiniest little animals in the world. Mother calls them a glass menagerie!"

These glass dolls are of symbolic importance in the play. They are a source of comfort to Laura who is a cripple and suffers from an inferiority complex because of this. Whenever she is upset or nervous she plays with these dolls to cheer herself up.

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Chantelm | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted January 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM (Answer #4)

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Laura who is one of the main characters own glass animals and she  cherishes and adorns them. She is crippled so she really doesn't have much to do so she cleans them all the time and cares for them extremely. She has a gentlemen caller over one day and he accidentally breaks the horn of the unicorn and it was one of her favorites. This was a big symbol in the story 

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