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).
... , Amanda, who criticizes his desire to quench this thirst for adventure, keeps him from entering reality.Tom has made steps to escape into reality by ... . For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into the world of reality ... way into her world - a way to escape from reality. Both examples can readily be seen: Tom will stand outside on the fire ...
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 her leg ??sort of ?stood between [her]-[and making friends]? (1301).
Laura never tries to do anything but live in a reality where she is afraid of everything. Amanda however isn?t afraid of anything except not being taken care of. Amanda also lives in a make-believe reality. In Amanda?s mind she is still a girl receiving ?gentlemen callers? (1270).
Even when Laura is to receive a caller, Amanda gets more dressed up than Laura. Amanda even refuses to acknowledge that Laura is ??crippled? (1275).
She illustrates this point by saying ??you?re not crippled, you just have a little defect-hardly noticeable, even!? (1275).
In Amanda?s world men are still nice and polite, unlike her son Tom. There are no handicapped children, especially her not her own. Yes, Amanda and Laura live in very strange worlds. They escape their poverty and positions in society by creating their own unique realities. The only problem is that Amanda and Laura never get anywhere with their fake realities and end up in the exact place they tried to get away from. On the other hand, the father and Jim actually have a chance and do escape. The father leaves so early that he is a silent element to the play. He is never seen or heard from but he is the one person who got out. Jim has the potential to get out and be free. He does escape somewhat because he refuses to let his position in life get him down. This is most evident when Jim says, ?I am disappointed but I?m not discouraged? (1302).
... job no skills and hurt by Jim. The attempts made to escape a life of avoiding reality fail and Tom, Laura, and Amanda are still trapped. ... cannot live in the present. Amanda, Tom, and Laura Wingfield each escape to avoid the reality of everyday life. Laura is presented to us as the ...
This comment leads the reader to believe that Jim has a fighting chance to succeed. Jim is actually doing something to help him in his quest for an escape. He is ??taking that course and studying public speaking? (1304).
This is just one more remark that makes you think that Jim will succeed. Jim and the father were the only people in the story that seemed to have a chance at making it away from home. Each character from Williams? The Glass Menagerie is looking for some unseen escape route. Amanda and Laura use their minds to take them their. Tom uses his dreams and actions to get him to his destination. Jim and the father use their brains and gumption to succeed in finding the path. They all struggle with the hopes and dreams of a people destined to remain in their poverty stricken lives forever. In the end, the only people who succeed or even have a chance are the people least connected with the Wingfield family. It has to be said that , just like the glass unicorn, this family is transparent, pitiful and broken. They never succeed in anything except dreaming for a better reality that has and will never come.