For being a memory play, symbolism works as a part and parcel of “The Glass Menagerie”. Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) uses a number of symbols in this drama. Those symbols mirror many different things. The playwright injects a large variety of symbolism to show the emotional, physical, and social state of each of the characters.
The symbolic significance of the Fire Escape
Tom often stands on the apartment’s fire escape, a literal and figurative temporary release from the chaos of his everyday life. Tom smokes on the fire escape, keeping away himself from the figurative homegrown fire by lighting his own fire, which likewise represents his longing to control his fate instead of being devoured by his family and his set of past experiences. His frequent escape to the fire escape anticipates his possible takeoff from the apartment.
More Notes: The Glass Menagerie
To conclude, we can say that Williams rightfully uses a number of different kinds of symbols in his play “The Glass Menagerie”. Actually, he uses a variety of symbols to show his complex ideas indirectly.