Shattered Sanity

A person's mind is something that can be quite fragile, particularly if the person happens to be a cutie in a Crapsack World. The iconic fragile thing in fiction seems to be glass - very shiny and very fragile. This leads to it and its shattering being used as a metaphor for an individual's broken sanity.

A popular variant of this is the House of Broken Mirrors.


Anime and Manga
  • Occurs during Asuka's Mind Rape in Neon Genesis Evangelion at the end of a repeated montage.
  • Played with in Yu-Gi-Oh!, where the Other Yugi shatters Kaiba's mind after defeating him at the end of the Death-T arc. In this case, it's intended to give Kaiba a chance to regain his sanity as he puts the pieces of his mind back together.

  • One very well-known literary usage is in The Glass Menagerie, where the glass unicorn's horn breaking off symbolizes Laura's breakdown upon discovering Jim's engagement.

  • One of the most frequent images in Sucker Punch is a glass breaking, once just before Babydoll's sister dies (From a light source) and the second time when Blondie dies.

Web Comics
  • In Narbonic, Dave's glasses crack near the end, symbolizing his descent into madness.

Western Animation