Commentary | Teen Ink


May 10, 2019
By ashleyarmelin BRONZE, Slidell, Louisiana
ashleyarmelin BRONZE, Slidell, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Throughout the play, Amanda forces Tom to suppress his own aspirations and take care of the family by finding a suitable husband for Laura. Despite Tom’s feelings of resentment towards his mother, he does not leave home because of his loyalty to Laura and his desire for her to have a happy life. But after the incident with Jim, Tom leaves home because he cannot handle his mother’s overbearing nature. As displayed by the quote from scene seven, however, Tom cannot escape the memory of Laura. No matter how far away he is from Laura, Tom sees her everywhere and thinks of her constantly. By forcing Laura to rely on Tom for stability, Amanda makes Tom feel guilty for leaving home and his life is full of regret and unhappiness. Furthermore, the mosaic represents Laura’s fragile nature and how her dependency on other people has a negative effect on her wellbeing. Laura relies heavily on her glass menagerie to cope with her fear of the outside world and the judgment of others. Additionally, Laura relies on validation from other people to boost her self-esteem, specifically Tom and Jim. After Tom leaves and Jim reveals that he is married, Laura becomes emotionally broken and pieces of her glass menagerie become physically broken. The pieces of “glass” in the mosaic represent the effect that Tom and Jim have on Laura’s wellbeing. Her reliance on Tom and Jim for validation leads her to disappointment. The pieces of glass represent the broken pieces of the glass menagerie and the broken pieces of Laura after her emotional heartaches.

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