What is the meaning of the title The Glass Menagerie?
The title The Glass Menagerie brings to prominence the collection of figurines composed of delicate glass and shaped like animals that the equally delicate Laura owns. This title also helps to draw attention to the symbolism of the fragile glass animals who come to represent anything that is too delicate to last in the day-to-day outside world.
Because life is harsh and difficult for Laura, she has fabricated an imaginary world symbolized by the glass menagerie. Laura is even compared to the glass animals in the stage directions in Scene 6:
She is like a piece of translucent glass touched by light, given a momentary radiance, not natural, not lasting.
In a similar fashion, Amanda longs for the world of her youth, in which she was comfortable as a Southern belle. Tom desires a world that is beyond the mundane and trivial, escaping in books and at the picture shows (the movies).
Much like the glass menagerie, all three Wingfields prove to be unrealistic. They each hold another world in their minds, and, like the glass figures, it is a much too fragile world to last. Thus, the title of The Glass Menagerie helps to bring to the front the themes of illusions and impossible dreams.
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