Glass Menagerie Synopsis

May 2, 2012 by IQLion  
Published in Motherhood

A summary of play "The Glass Menagerie".

The Glass Menagerie (1973 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story takes place in a common house with uncommon inhabitants. It starts from Tom, the narrator and a character, entering the house before dinner. His mother always critiques him on any possible occasion. She is disappointed about how he eats, smokes too much and goes to the movies every night. The mother wants her children to succeed in life although she did not achieve it herself. Her husband left her and his job and vent traveling. The only mention of him the family ever got was a postcard with no return address. Not long after the start of the play the mother find out about the fact that Laura, her daughter, dropped out of business college. Since there was nothing else that Amanda, the mother, could do to get her child back into the college, she decided that it will be the best for Laura to get married. She asks Tom, her son, to find a man for Laura at the place where he works, the warehouse.

Tom spends all his time dreaming. He cannot live in one place his whole life and wants more than anything to experience and adventure. He wants to wonder off like his father did, but every time he gets stopped by his sister or his mother. He can’t stand a job at the warehouse and does it only because it is the only way he can provide for the family. Tom’s life is not bright. He spends all the time working and the rest of the time his mother accuses him in a great number of things. He cannot make even a step without his mother telling him what to do. The only relief that he gets in life comes from movies however, his mother does not believe he goes to movies every night.
Laura is only a shy girl who does not care about the world outside. She is closed within herself and does not want to get married. When Tom finally brings a gentleman caller into the house, she runs away because she already knows Jim, a gentleman caller from warehouse, from her high school. She cannot stand an idea of talking to him. However, when at the end of the story she is left alone with Jim, she relaxes and talks to him freely. She remembers everything about him. She remembers that he used to call her Blue Roses and she remembers when they had a class together. It seems like she knows every aspect of his life. However, in the end it comes to be that Jim is engaged to a girl and he cannot stay with Laura. She does not seem disappointed, though. Laura is happy that she got a chance to talk to Jim and remember the high school moments with him.

Jim leaves early and Amanda blames Tom for not telling her that Jim was engaged. Tom was planning to leave and now, the accusation was just a final blow. Tom leaves the house and wonders away. He cannot forgive himself for leaving Laura.

The Glass Menagerie is a symbol throughout the whole play. It symbolizes Laura herself. Although it is just a collection of glass sculptures of different animals, it means a lot to Laura. She cleans it every day and cares about it. The glass collection symbolizes how shy and breakable Laura is. At the end of the story, while dancing with Jim, Laura breaks the horn off the unicorn. The unicorn itself represents Laura because throughout the whole play it is mentioned that Laura is crippled.

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