Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie Essay

Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie Essay

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Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie


In Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, all four members of the Wingfield family have chosen to hide from reality. Amanda tries to relive her past through Laura, and denies anything she does not want to accept. Laura is terrified of the real world, and choses to hide behind her limp, her glass menagerie and the victrola. Tom hides from his reality by going to the movies, writing poetry, and getting drunk. Mr Wingfield hides from his reality by leaving his family and not contacting them after he has done so. Each member of the Wingfield family has their own escape mechanism which they use to hide or escape from the real world.

Amanda has chosen to hide from reality by trying to relive her past. She is living in the unreality of her youthful memories and sees herself as still being as young as Laura when she says to her, ‘No, sister, no, sister – you be the lady this time and I’ll be the darkey’ (p 237). She reminisces about ‘one Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain’ (p 237) when she received seventeen gentleman callers, and then tries to relive this through Laura. She arranges for Tom to bring home some nice young man...


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...1987. 85-94.

Levy, Eric P. "‘Through Soundproof Glass’: The Prison of Self Consciousness in The Glass Menagerie." Modern Drama, 36. December 1993. 529-537.

Rasky, Harry. Tennessee Williams: A Portrait in Laughter and Lamentation. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1986.

Thompson, Judith J. Tennessee Williams’ Plays: Memory, Myth, and Symbol. New York: Peter Lang, 1989.

Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. In Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing, 4th ed. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995. 1519-1568.





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