Symbols of escapism in the Glass Menagerie

Essay by Kaz_RSAHigh School, 11th grade March 2003

download word file, 3 pages 4.7 1 reviews

Downloaded 121 times

There are many symbols of escapism presented in the Glass Menagerie and each character has its own symbols connected to it. The characters will, however, only ever be able to escape their '2 by 4' situation for a brief moment. This essay will discuss the characters in the play and how they are linked to the symbols of escapism with reference to the play.

In the play Tom becomes highly pre-occupied with the magician and his ability to escape the coffin 'without removing a nail'. Tom's pre-occupation is as a result of his desire to escape his '2 by 4' situation at home with Laura and Amanda; he too would like to do so 'without removing a nail'. As illustrated in the end of the play, Tom is able to escape his family physically. He will however always be bound to them spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Tom is also very close to the fire escape for most of the play and this also symbolises his need to escape Laura and Amanda's hold and dependency upon him.

He often goes down the fire escape to go to the movies. The movies are yet another symbol of escapism in the play in that Tom goes there in order to escape Amanda's demands and to experience freedom and adventure. It is at the movies that Tom is able to relax and think most clearly.

Laura finds solace in her glass menagerie of animals as she is physically impaired and she is socially retarded. Laura has been shy and withdrawn since she was young and hence she has never known anything else. At one point in the play the reader believes that she may be able escape when Jim kisses her. The reader then realises that she will only be thrown back into her...