Escape From Reality In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

918 words - 4 pages

Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Characters' Escape From Reality in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams centers around a dream of escape. Although everyone wants to escape from a different reality, they all feel that need to get away. The father is the most successful in his escape because he never has to deal with anything at home. He actually leaves and doesn't look back. As for the other four: Laura, Amanda, Tom, and Jim, they seem to be stuck throughout the play. Jim seems to be the only one with a real chance at breaking away from his reality. When Tom breaks free, his memory brings him back to that place. Each person escapes their reality in some way and is somewhat successful at it. Whether through dreams or actually walking away, everyone manages to break free. Tom is, by far, the biggest dreamer. Tom dreams of leaving the "…over crowded urban centers of lower middle-class population" (1267). Tom envies his father who actually had the guts to walk out. Tom expresses this when he tells Amanda, "…Mother, I'd be where [the father] is!" (1277). Tom wants to leave so desperately that he "…paid [his Merchant Marine] dues this month, instead of the light bill" (1295). Tom would rather think of himself and let his mother and sister sit in the dark, alone, than take responsibility for his family. Tom says he is "…tired of the movies" (1294) meaning that he is ready for his own adventures. He "…[retires] to a cabinet of the washroom to work on poems when business [is] slack in the warehouse" (1289) By doing this, Tom is looking for yet another escape from the reality of working at a job he hates. Tom also loathes his mother in some way. This is most evident when Tom calls Amanda an "…ugly --babbling old- witch…" (1278). When Tom does finally escape his realities they continue to haunt him. Every time Tom sees "…a piece of transparent glass…" (1310), or hears "…a familiar bit of music" (1310) he is reminded of Laura. So in the end, Tom isn't successful at escaping his realities. It is in the actual escape that he fails the most because he can't forget Laura. Amanda and Laura are the most pitiful characters in the play. Their methods of escape consist of what goes on inside their heads. Laura escapes through her menagerie. "[Laura's] glass collection takes up a good deal of [her] time" (1303). Laura is so engrossed with taking care of her glass collection that she forgets to live her life. Laura also hides behind her disability. She even admits that the brace on...

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