Sample Scholarship Essays

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is by Tennessee Williams. Williams uses a lot of symbols in this play. Many of the symbols used in this play try to symbolize some form of escape or difference between reality and illusion. The first symbol isthe fire escape. This represents a bridge between the illusory world of the Wingfields and a world of reality.

This bridge seems to be a one way passage. For Tom, the fire escape is a way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality. Laura on the other hand, thinks the fire escape as a way in but not a way out. This shows Laura fears greatly affect her physical condition more so than normal people. Another symbol deals more with Tom than any other character: Tom’s habit of always going to the movies to leave the apartment and head out into the world of reality. A place where one can find adventure.

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But Tom has made steps to escape into reality by transferring the payment of a light bill to pay for his dues in the Merchant Seamans Union. One symbol which is rather obvious is Laura’s Glass Menagerie. Her collection of glass reprsents her own world. This is where she sets herself part from reality and where she can hide and be safe in her own little world. As you can see there are quite a few symbols in this play. And a number of them have a lot of meanings.

A lot or most of these symbols have a direct meaning in the authors life. Its understandable sicne this is supposed to be a memory play. Its obvious to readers that this play is based on the authors own memories.

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie, written by Tennessee Williams, is a play told from the memory of the narrator Tom Wingfield. It takes place in St. Louis in 1937. The three main characters in the play are Amanda Wingfield, the mother, Laura Wingfield, the sister, and Tom Wingfield, the narrator. In the play Tom is the narrator but does not appear on screen very often. Amanda is on the screen for much of the time and has the most lines. Laura is also on screen for much of the time and is the object of conversation for most of the play. Both Tom and Amanda are looking to find gentlemen callers for their beloved Laura. The question at hand is: who is the main character? The main character is Laura.
Many say that the narrator is commonly the main character because he is the one telling the story. This is true in most cases but not in The Glass Menagerie. Amanda is a traditional southern woman who always recollects her stories of her youth when she was pursued by many gentlemen callers. Amanda was a southern belle and she wishes to have Laura be the same in the respect that she is pursued by many gentlemen callers. This however is not the case. Laura is a very shy girl suffering from a medical condition called pleurosis. Laura has a very hard time holding conversations with people, therefore making it impossible for her to attract a gentlemen caller. Tom realizes this and one day while at work he invites his buddy Jim OConnor over for dinner but fails to mention his sister. This is believed to be set up this way so that Jim has no idea that Laura will be there, and so that Tom can tell his mother that he found a gentlemen caller for Laura.
When the evening finally arrives things start off with an introduction between Jim and Laura, who is forced to the door by her mother. Laura falls sick before dinner and lies on the sofa while the rest eat dinner. Afterwards Amanda tells Jim to bring Laura a drink and to keep an eye on her. The two begin talking and Laura eventually gains confidence. The two engage in a meaningful conversation and reflect their years in high school together. Jim ends up kissing Laura, but then tells her that he is engaged and totally destroys all hope for Laura and Amanda.
The story is told by Tom and stars Amanda, but is based mostly on finding a gentlemen caller for Laura. Laura is the main focus throughout the story. In the beginning Tom talks about Laura, throughout the story Tom is trying to help out Laura, and at the end Tom says he returns and he cant stop thinking of Laura. The book name, The Glass Menagerie is named after the glass set in which Laura owns. Of the three major characters Tom, Amanda and Laura, Laura is the main character.


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