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Discuss the symbol of the glass menagerie. What does it represent? Does it represent...

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falusiea78 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:34 AM via web

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Discuss the symbol of the glass menagerie. What does it represent? Does it represent the same things throughout the play?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:07 PM (Answer #1)

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The glass menagerie symbolizes Laura.  Like the glass animals Laura is fragile, a dreamer who doesn’t face reality, and she, like the little animals, is old fashioned. Laura is extremely shy and very withdrawn around people she doesn’t know.  If people give her a chance, we get the idea that she can be very charming, but she just can’t face the realities it would take to maintain a relationship.  Laura’s favorite animal is the unicorn.  This is important because the unicorn is not a real animal.  It stands to reason that someone like Laura would be drawn to the most fanciful animal in her collection. In the play the unicorn gets broken and in some way so does  Laura. The collection symbolizes the same thing throughout the play, but the different animals in the collection take on different meanings. 

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eribogado | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM (Answer #2)

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the glass menagerie represents Laura's fragility and odditty. she is immerse in her own world where she escapes from reality. the unicorn represents Laura's uniqueness but when it breaks it represents a change in Laura´s life, now she is not going to be an unicorn in a world of horses anymore, that´s why I think that the meaning of the glass menagerie symbolism changes at the end of the story.

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