Ignorance Of Laura Wingfield’s Disabilities In The Glass Menagerie

3823 words - 15 pages

The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a play set in 1937 that highlights the memory of Tom Wingfield’s time at home with his sister and mother, Laura and Amanda. Tom’s adult sister, Laura, is still living at home: unable to complete her education, get a job, or meet a husband. Due to the fact that Tom and Laura’s father left them when they were young, Amanda pushes Laura to be a successful homemaker since Amanda failed at having a complete family. Amanda wishes for Laura to meet a husband, and pushes her repeatedly to talk to men and socialize with gentleman callers. Finally, it seems that Amanda’s dream for Laura might come true when Tom brings his friend from work over from dinner, Jim O’Connor. Laura and Jim went to high school together, and Laura is unable to socialize with him out of fear and anxiety. In addition, Laura has a crippled leg and walks with a limp as a result of a childhood malady. The limp further contributes to her lack of self-confidence. The Glass Menagerie accentuates Laura’s difficulty growing up and her failure to fill her mother’s high expectations. Laura’s inability to transition successfully to adulthood by graduating high school, succeeding at job training, or building new social relationships outside her immediate family is due to her mental health issues, including a genetic predisposition to anxiety disorder and Asperger’s, which are exacerbated by her physical disability and the overbearing and inappropriate actions of her mother.
Laura is unable to successfully move on from childhood to take on adult responsibilities. Laura is twenty-three years old (Williams 78) and still has not been able to transition to adulthood. Becoming an adult entails finishing a primary education, getting a job, and making a family, which Laura is unable to do. Laura was unable to complete the important milestone of graduating high school. When Laura and Jim are talking about what they have been doing since high school, Laura is embarrassed to admit that she never completed her degree. She says to him, “I made bad grades on my final examinations” (Williams 79). For this reason, she never went back to high school (Williams 79). Graduating high school is a large part of moving on to adulthood. Without her diploma, Laura never closed a chapter of her life, and left her primary education unfinished. Consequently, she is stuck between childhood and adulthood, unable to get a job.
Laura fails while trying to further her education, which she must do to get a job and support herself. Laura’s mother encourages her to take a typing class at a local business college so she can get a job (Williams 13), but her “attempts to launch Laura into a business career through sending her to a college are met with failure” (Zeineddine). Laura is given the opportunity to expand her abilities and develop new skills that will help her get a job, but is unable to complete the class. Shortly into the course, Laura “breaks down completely” while...

Find Another Essay On Ignorance of Laura Wingfield’s Disabilities In The Glass Menagerie

Symbols of escapism in the Glass Menagerie

785 words - 3 pages his need to escape Laura and Amanda's hold and dependency upon him. He often goes down the fire escape to go to the movies. The movies are yet another symbol of escapism in the play in that Tom goes there in order to escape Amanda's demands and to experience freedom and adventure. It is at the movies that Tom is able to relax and think most clearly.Laura finds solace in her glass menagerie of animals as she is physically impaired and she is

Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

3178 words - 13 pages Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie       Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie gives readers a look into a truly dysfunctional family.  At first it could seem as if their lives are anything but normal, but Amanda's "impulse to preserve her single-parent family seems as familiar as the morning newspaper" (Presley 53).  The Wingfield's are a typical family just struggling to get by.  Their problems, however, stem from their

Characterization in The Glass Menagerie

1137 words - 5 pages character’s actions may enlighten audiences to issues surrounding another character is brilliantly illustrated by Williams in his The Glass Menagerie. On the surface of the play the issues present seem to be rooted in the fact that Laura is “crippled” and unwed, however, upon further examination it is seen that there are other deeper issues. Williams writes in his production notes that this is a “memory play” (1041). What is interesting about The

Desperation in The Glass Menagerie

771 words - 3 pages . Another issue is the figure of the father in the story. He is mentioned so few times he could have been omitted altogether. What did work well in The Glass Menagerie was the character of Tom and the interaction with his mother. Without this aspect, it would have been as frustrating as the lives of Amanda and Laura. Tom's character brought energy and suspense. When coupled with his mother's outrageous personality, there were often fireworks. His

Symbolism In The Glass Menagerie

1908 words - 8 pages Examine Tennessee Williams's use of symbols in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜ in the first three scenes.' I have a poet's weakness for symbols "˜. This is part of the introduction of the play , given to us by Tom Wingfield , who is not only the narrator , but also plays a major part in ,'The Glass Menagerie "˜. This sentence represents the play because its meaning is that Tom is saying that he is not real , he is just a symbol of his

The Opening of Glass Menagerie

899 words - 4 pages The Opening of Glass Menagerie The opening of Glass Menagerie is key in establishing themes, relationships, dramatic conventions character symbolism and style. Discuss. The opening of the play ‘Glass Menagerie’ let the audience know about various elements of the play such as themes, relationships, characters and dramatic conventions. This was done by detailed description of the setting and the narrator, Tom informing the audience

Analysis of The Glass Menagerie

936 words - 4 pages The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a prime example of a classic drama, infusing powerful themes with compelling characters to draw the reader in and allow them to connect. William’s character Laura plays a large part in accomplishing this, particularly in Scene VII, when she converses with Jim. This scene is especially important to the story as a whole, and helps develop Laura’s character and the theme of conformity. This theme, that

The Importance of Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie

1615 words - 6 pages gentleman caller, comes into the apartment, at the time when Amanda’s hopes have been uplifted. It is significant that Laura does not want to open the door when Jim arrives. It shows her reluctance to let an emissary from the world of reality, symbolized by Jim, invade the comfortable non-existence of the apartment and her insecurity in dealing with the outside world.       The main symbol in the play is that of the glass menagerie itself. This

Essay on the Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1106 words - 4 pages The Illusion of Escape in The Glass Menagerie     In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the characters exhibit a state of delusion that originates from their dissatisfaction with their lives. Tom seeks adventure in the movies. Amanda reminisces often about her days as a Southern Belle. Laura sits in a dream world with her glass collection, and Jim basks in the praises of his high school glory. In their respective ways, they

The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

2000 words - 8 pages The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, Amanda, Laura, and Tom have chosen to avoid reality. Amanda continually attempts to live in the past. Laura's escape from the real world is her glass collection and old phonograph records. Tom hides from the real world by going to the movies and getting drunk. Each character retreats to their separate world to escape the cruelties of life

Essay on the Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

1036 words - 4 pages The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie   The Glass Menagerie, a play by Tennessee Williams, is set in the apartment of the Wingfield family, housing Amanda Wingfield and her two children Tom and Laura. The father left many years ago, and is only represented by a picture on the living-room wall. The small, dingy apartment creates a desperate, monotonous feeling in the reader. None of the Wingfields has any desire to stay in the

Similar Essays

Journal Entry From Laura In The Glass Menagerie For Scenes Three And Four

368 words - 2 pages looking at my menagerie. I know the antagonism between mother and Tom is mostly my fault. They both are worried about me. Mother is probably pressuring Tom and making him angry because he will have to take care of me. She is giving him the silent treatment. "Laura, tell your brother his coffee is ready." (Amanda) (28)I would be angry too, not that I would show it, but I would in fact be angry if Tom, or anyone for that matter called me what he

The Glass Menagerie Scene 1 Journal Entry Character Laura

550 words - 2 pages ." (Tom) (6) Mother also mentioned to me that she is worried that I may become an old maid or that Tom may end up looking after me for the rest of my life. I hope she is mistaken. I still have no idea what I will do with my life, I would like a husband, but I am terribly shy. I would like a small store selling glass menagerie, but on the other hand I am not good with people, they are always giving me weird looks. Also, I could not bear selling my glass menagerie.

A Psychological Analysis And Recommendation For The Three Characters Of The Glass Menagerie, Tom Laura And Amanda

1748 words - 7 pages and it must be a painful reminder of how he left her. She is afraid that any male she gets close to might leave her as her father has left her.Instead of interacting with people and making friends, Laura spends her time with glass animal figurines. These have become her replacement for friends. She particularly has become fond of a unicorn one. She feels a connection with the unicorn because it is so unique in contrast to the horses. Laura herself

Dreams Of Escape In The Glass Menagerie

2309 words - 9 pages outside world. For instance, when her mother hints at the alternative of matrimony for fiasco in business careers, Laura "utters a startled, doubtful laugh. She reaches quickly for a piece of glass." (Williams 25). The glass menagerie, then, becomes her tactile consolation. Aside from being a consolation, these little glass ornaments act as recognition of Laura's very self. Those little glass animals are characteristic of Laura's fragility and