Essay on the Symbolism of the Menagerie in The Glass Menagerie
“You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don’t plan for it. ” • Amanda Wingfield The first phrase to catch my attention was when Amanda is telling Tom about planning for the future. It seems as though it may have been first hand experience being how her own life has not gone the way she would have liked it too.She puts a lot of stock into the first gentleman caller’s future completely lying with Laura which we will come to find out was presumptuous. When Tom questions her (Amanda) own relationship and its demise, she retorts “That innocent look of your father’s had everyone fooled.
” It isn’t unusual for a relationship to end badly but Amanda is a bit overbearing and opinionated considering her own personal relationship failure. Additionally Tom seems to be very honest about the expectations of the gentleman caller and Laura beginning a relationship based on one dinner.While he loves his sister dearly he reminds Amanda that Laura’s condition and personality is not the expected norm and may in fact be a shock to someone who is meeting her for the first time. He states “She lives in a world all her own-a world of- little glass ornaments, Mother…” I think he was referring to the frailty of Laura in many ways. She could be easily hurt if Amanda pumped up her expectations for some relationship that didn’t materialize.
The night of the big visit arrives and almost immediately the great expectations seem to disappear.Laura shyness chases her back to the Victrola as soon as introductions are made. As this story moves along the lights go out. Ironically, it seems like an underlying meaning concerning the night in general, full of unfulfilled expectations. That is the underlying premise throughout this story.
Amanda’s life is unfulfilled, Tom’s life is unfulfilled, and Laura’s life is unfulfilled. A never ending cycle that must be escaped from if there is to be any kind of enjoyment of life. They all dream but have no direction to escape. The picture on the wall is the roadmap to any kind of escape for the Wingfields.