In The Glass Menagerie, how is the blue roses symbol similar to that of the glass unicorn?

Expert Answers
gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ‘blue roses’ symbol is similar to that of the glass unicorn as both represent Laura. It refers to the friendly nickname that Jim bestowed on Laura in high school, while the unicorn is Laura’s most cherished piece of glass.

 Like the unicorn, this image of blue roses emphasises Laura’s unusual qualities, as well as her fragile beauty. She herself notes that ‘blue is wrong – for roses’ but Jim assures her that ‘it’s right for you' (scene 7)

Jim recognises that Laura is not like other people. She lives in a world of her own, withdrawn from others. For a time, though, it seems that Jim has really succeeded in breaking through to her, as symbolised in his breaking of the unicorn’s horn. Laura responds positively to this:

I’ll just imagine that he had an operation. The horn was removed to make him feel less – freakish! (scene 7)

The unicorn has now become more like other creatures, less ‘freakish’, just as Laura seems to become more like other people, less isolated and awkward, in Jim’s friendly presence. However, this does not last long, as Jim reveals he is engaged to be married and therefore can’t go on seeing her. Laura is left to resume her life of seclusion.

amysor | Student

Blue Roses and a Unicorn are both similar in terms of uniqueness. Blue Roses and Unicorn are so very different than red roses and horses, which sets them apart in difference. This applies to Laura in the novel, who is different from most girls. Laura is handicapped, and stays home listening to records and playing with little glass animals. Her gentleman caller called her Blue Roses as a nickname by accident, but it is suitable because Laura is very different. Also, in her collection of glass animals, she had many horses and one unicorn. In a way, it symbolizes Laura as she is not common like everyone else. Although, in scene 7, Laura realizes once the unicorn breaks, that she wants to be normal like everyone else.

LAURA: But Blue is wrong for - roses . . .

JIM: It's right for you! You're - pretty!

Read the study guide:
The Glass Menagerie

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question