The glass menagerie
The Glass Menagerie Essay
In the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Laura portrays a crippled character. Her handicap causes her to look down upon herself for her whole life. Laura presents herself as a fragile human being, easily broken at any moment just like a piece of her own glass collection. Laura lacks confidence in herself because of her problems and she lives her life as if she should be put in a case and not moved because of her delicacy.
The author describes Laura as a crippled young girl with a myriad of problems. Laura becomes crippled after a childhood illness leaves her one leg slightly longer than her other. Laura separates herself from everyone else because of this defect. She perceives herself as unpopular and unimportant in the eyes of her peers. She separates herself to the point where she and her glass collection are one and the same thing. She identifies well with the uniqueness and delicacy of her unicorn. Just as the unicorn differs from the other horses in the collection, Laura too, does not fit in with the people of her time.
Laura exhibits very negative thoughts and feelings about herself. Laura assumes that everyone notices her flaws and dislikes her because of them. Laura fears that she will grow up to be an old maid. She does not relate to other people well because of her shyness and unpopularity. Her only pleasures consist of being home with her family, her glass collection, and her father’s records.
Laura’s insecurities are manifested whenever she confronts an unfamiliar situation and that causes her to become physically ill. Laura can not handle being around other people or in crowds because of her shyness. She can never be the center of attention because of her lack of self-confidence and how she feels that.
The other characters regard Laura as a perfectly fine and beautiful woman. Amanda, her mother, feels that if Laura tries to get a gentleman caller and stops worrying about other the insignificant things, she could be very successful in her goals. Jim, her gentleman caller, realizes that Laura has an inferiority complex at the root of her problems. Tom, Her brother and narrator of the play, cares very deeply about Laura and her wellbeing. He will not leave the house until he can find a suitable husband to take care of Laura.
Laura talks in a very low-toned voice punctuated by her dialog. Her communication skills further emphasize her low self-esteem. She also speaks with a shutter because of her insecurities about everything.
Laura Wingfield has the potential to be a beautiful, intelligent and popular person but she lacks self-confidence. Laura represents in this novel someone with many problems. She could be an inspiration for anyone suffering the same afflictions. Laura could help people to realize that they are worthwhile no matter what anyone says. People should realize that things are not as bad as they seem because there are always people that are worse off than you and that was Laura’s problem.