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. 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