What are Laura's social difficutlies and issues in The Glass Menagerie?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The social difficulties and issues of Laura's character in The Glass Menagerie stem from the woman's evident social anxiety. In turn, the social anxiety is caused by a combination of her mother's overprotective nature and the fact that Laura has a slight deformity in her leg that makes her wear a brace. The latter is particularly embarrassing for Laura because she had to go through her teenage years in that condition. 

Laura's anxiety is so intense that she cannot even complete a typing course. She hardly spoke to anybody, and she focuses her stalled energy on her collection of glass animals. Williams correlates Laura to  her collection of glass animals not only because she is fragile and unique like the unicorn, but also because of her ephemeral, almost incomprehensible faintness of personality.

she is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting

Laura's social difficulties precede her and continue to follow her as in a curse through the years. As a result, she lives in her own fantasy world, isolated from the world, and stuck in the past. This is why it is such a blow to her to find that Jim O'Connor is no longer the high school hero, but a straight up man, about to get married, and moving forward in life. Instead of changing, Laura seems to get deeper into her fantasy world. Unfortunately for her, this will translate into a never ending cycle where she will never get ahead. 

Chantelm | Student

Laura is not a normal girl. She is brought down in society in this time because it was normal to be crippled and carry around crutches all day. She was a social outcast and no one accepted her. She was going no where in life and she has no purpose in life since she didn't want to go to school since she was so shy and awkward. 

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The Glass Menagerie

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