The Glass Managerie

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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ESCAPE AS A THEME IN THE PLAY Of all the plays we read, the one we chose to elaborate upon was "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. We chose to explore the theme of escape which is evident and highly emphasized throughout the play.

It seems the entire family tries to escape some aspect of their life in one way or another.

The first confrontation with escape comes as the play opens. Tom tells the story of how Mr. Wingfield, his father, escapes the pressures of being a responsible father by running away and never returning to face his responsibilities (pg 1625). Amanda, the mother, and Tom get into an argument over Tom's constant ventures to the movies after work. He tries to explain to her that going to movies is his way of escaping reality and finding the adventure his life lacks (pg 1632-1634). This also comes up again when Tom tells Jim of his plans to join the "Union of Merchant Seamen" (pg 1651).

Amanda escapes the present by dwelling in the past with stories about her gentlemen callers. She uses her past experiences as examples to Laura in efforts of getting her married off and out of the house (pg 1639). Laura on the other hand has a different way of escaping. She turns to her records and miniature glass animals to get away from the pressures her mother constantly places on her (pg 1628-1630).

This play tells a story true for most people today. No matter what the situation or how different people seem to be, everyone needs a way of escaping everyday life. Maybe not to escape the same problems as the Wingfields, but people need to get away from everyday life by escaping to their fantasy world.