The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie Essay
874 Words4 Pages
The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie
In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams uses the theme of escape to help drive the play forward. None of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers the days when he was a high school hero. Mr. Wingfield is referred to often throughout the play. He is the ultimate symbol of escape. This is because he has managed to remove himself from the desperate situation that the rest of the family is still…show more content…
She is unable to cope with reality and she escapes back into her fantasy world of old records and glass figurines.
Amanda is obsessed with her past, and uses it to escape reality, as she constantly reminds Tom and Laura of the time she received seventeen gentlemen callers. The reader cannot even be sure that this actually happened. However, it is clear despite its possible falseness, Amanda has come to believe it. She refuses to acknowledge that her daughter is crippled and refers to her handicap as "a little defect - hardly noticeable" (Williams 1648). Only for brief moments does she ever admit that her daughter is "crippled" and then resorts back to denial. Amanda doesn't perceive anything realistically. She believes that this gentleman caller, Jim is going to be the man to rescue Laura and she hasn't even met him yet. When Jim arrives, Amanda is dressed in a "girlish frock" she wore on the day that she met their father and she regresses to the childish, giddy days of entertaining gentleman callers. Amanda uses her past as a means to escape the reality she does not want to face.
Tom escapes reality in many different ways. The first and most obvious is the fire escape that leads him away from his unhappy home. He also escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. The more Amanda nags, the more Tom seems to need his movie escapes. They take him to
Essay on Escape in The Glass Menagerie
1047 Words5 Pages
Escape in The Glass Menagerie
In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, none of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers the days when he was a hero.
Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records. Even when it appears that Laura is finally overcoming her shyness and hypersensitivity with Jim, she instantly reverts back to playing the Victrola once he tells her he's engaged. She is unable…show more content…
Amanda chooses to live in the past.
Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. He cannot handle his menial job and his unsatisfying home life. He believes that the atmosphere is stifling and damaging to his creative capacities. Finally, when he does leave the Wingfield apartment, he is still trapped by his memories (the past) of Laura. As a result, he is unable to function in the present and wanders aimlessly thinking of his sister.
Jim, though not as severely as the Wingfields, also reverts to his past as he looks through high school yearbooks with Laura and remembers the days when he was a hero. He is also not satisfied with the present - working at the same warehouse as Tom, despite Tom's prediction that he would 'arrive at nothing short of the White House by the time he was thirty' (Williams 83). Tom realises that he 'was valuable to him [Jim] as someone who could remember his former glory' (Williams 84). When Jim reminisces about his lead in the operetta, Laura asks him to sign her programme and he signs it 'with a flourish' (Williams 116). Only by entering into the Wingfield's world of illusions can Jim become this high school hero again. As the scene progresses, Jim regresses to his high school days of wooing women as he woos the innocent Laura by dancing