Symbolic illustration of Laura's hands holding a glass unicorn

The Glass Menagerie

by Tennessee Williams

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Scene 3

The symbol of the glass menagerie continues in this scene. Comment on its significance.

Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie

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Having broken down when she has taken a speed test, thereby, proving herself too fragile and sensitive for the Rubiacam's Business College, Laura retreats to the apartment and her glass menagerie through whose transluscence illusions can yet be perceived.  Thus, the glass menagerie is a refuge for Laura's dreams and illusionary hopes.  It is a place where she does not so gravely feel her isolation because the little figures are like her, different, delicate and habituated to the Wingfield apartment.

The glass menagerie in Scene Three represents the transparent illusion of the imagination and its refuge, not only for Laura, but also for Amanda, who engages upon a crusade of finding "a gentleman caller" for Laura in hopes of ensuring their financial security. Amanda fears that Tom, who goes to movies and reads D. H. Lawrence, entering into worlds outside their own, may seek out those worlds portrayed in the films and Lawrence's literature and abandon the family. 


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