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Eswar Anandapadmanaban Block 6 La Literature 3 Escapism in The Glass Menagerie Tennessee williams presents various themes in his play

The Glass Menagerie! The overarching theme throughout the play is that o" escape! All o" the characters "eel this need to escape and move away "rom their present situation! This idea is personi"ied through the repeated presence o" the "ire# escape which reminds the audience o" the need need to escape! Additionally various $uotes represent this theme throughout each scene! Three $uotes have been selected "or discussion here because o" their depth and value! The ideas that %illiams presents stand out even a"ter the play is "inished because these words linger with the audience!

Tom is the "irst character "or discussion! &e has an obvious need "or adventure as evident in his "re$uent departures to the movies! &e despises staying at home and leaves at every opportunity possible! The movies are his "orm o" escapism albeit the "act that they do not take him anywhere! &e has to return home a"ter a "ew hours anyways! Tom sees his "ather as the ultimate symbol o" escape and re"erences him in his outburst against Amanda! The most obvious notion that Tom makes showing he wishes to escape is his visit to the magician! The magician per"orms a evasive trick and Tom says to Laura '(ou know it don)t take much intelligence to get yoursel" into a nailed#up co""in Laura! But who in hell ever got himsel" out o" one without removing one nail*+ To Tom this nailed up co""in is his monotonous li"e monochromatic "actory li"e and supercilious mother! Tom is surrounded with no escape! %hen Tom e,presses surprise that the magician got out without removing one nail! Tom is hinting that escape has occurred in the past but always with unwanted conse$uences! Tom might be re"erring to the conse$uences o" his "ather leaving Amanda and her two children! This $uote e,empli"ies Tom-s wish to escape despite his knowledge o" the di""iculties! The reader is able to get a look into Tom-s mind and thoughts because we see Tom contemplating leaving! (et we know that he is

6/he lives in a world o" her own#a world o"#little glass ornaments!6 This comment is a direct solidi"ication o" what the audience in"ers! .troubled by the outcomes o" such a departure! Amanda is personi"ied as a "ickle character who is always "orcing her children to obey her will! This "orbearance is a result o" her need to escape! Amanda is still coping with the loss o" her husband and the audience sees this in her sensitivity to the emotions o" her children! &er anger is only an output "or her escape! Amanda wishes to return to the past and makes wishes on the moon "or 'success and happiness!+ The key $uote that represents Amanda-s reminiscence "or her past is. %ell in the /outh we had so many servants! Gone gone gone! All vestige o" gracious living0 Gone completely0 1 wasn)t prepared "or what the "uture brought me! All o" my gentlemen callers were sons o" planters and so o" course 1 assumed that 1 would be married to one and raise my "amily on a large piece o" land with plenty o" servants! But man proposes2and woman accepts the proposal0 To vary that old old saying a bit21 married no planter0 1 married a man who worked "or the telephone company0 ! ! ! A telephone man who2"ell in love with long#distance0 This $uote brings Amanda-s thoughts to her words and reveals the greatest amount o" insight into her past! /he longs "or the happiness that she associates with the seventeen gentlemen callers! And thus to relive this 3oy she tries to vicariously live through her daughter and urges Tom to arrange a gentleman caller! Amanda even says that all the vestige o" gracious living is gone! By comparing her present gloom to her past virtues she is e.pressing contempt "or her present! The audience receives a biased view o" Amanda through tom-s eyes! This $uote however capture the essence o" Amanda that can sa"ely be considered true! The "inal character needy to escape is Laura! /he however has actually "ound her escape# her collection o" glass "igurines! 1n scene 4 Tom characteri5es her.

Laura does indeed live in her own world because she wishes to escape "rom her direct environment! &ardly does Laura speak and never does she actually intervene in any o" the arguments! 7erhaps she got sick o" her mother or "elt insecure o" her disability! 1n any case she longs to escape and "inds it in her glass menagerie as stated by that $uotation! The three selected $uotes are crucial "or understanding the theme o" escapism in these three characters! Tom is a biased narrator but these $uotes give valid insight into these characters! Their thoughts and actions are e.pressed clearly to the audience! The theme o" escapism is shown through various devices although these $uotes remain with the audience long a"ter the play is over! .