Essay on Tom's Escape in The Glass Menagerie

Essay on Tom's Escape in The Glass Menagerie

Length: 786 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Tom's Escape in The Glass Menagerie

 
   In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, each member of the Wingfield family has their own fantasy world in which they indulge themselves. Tom escaped temporarily from the fantasy world of Amanda and Laura by hanging out on the fire escape. Suffocating both emotionally and spiritually, Tom eventually sought a more permanent form of escape.

 

Tom supports his family despite his unhappiness of his world.  He tries to please Amanda by  being the sole supporter, but only gets rewarded by Amanda's constant nagging and suspicion.  Eventually Tom finds himself more like his father as he seeks adventure in the movies and hangs out on the fire escape he avoids suffocation, and desperately seeks the life he always desired; the life of adventure. 

 

            By hanging out on the fire escape, Tom finds a temporary safe haven from Amanda.  With Amanda nagging Tom about every minute action, like mastication, Tom needed to find somewhere to escape.  Perhaps, even more, the fire escape shows various things about Tom's personality.  Since Amanda and Laura have their illusionary worlds inside, Tom can easily escape these worlds by going out on the firescape.  He does not desire to be part of an imaginary world, which only proves to be the downfall of Amanda and Laura.  He realizes that the world is not what Amanda has made it seem inside the house.  Also, during his reflections on the firescape he is not really separating himself from the imaginary world because that metal frame is still anchored to the apartment wall.  This shows that no matter how hard Tom tries to escape he will always be 'bounded' to the apartment.  His emotional attachments to Laura would permantly k...


... middle of paper ...


...s and it will be impossible for him to not disturb the nails.  He is suffocating in his own figurative coffin, but knows his escape will upset Amanda and Laura. 

 

            Tom escaped from the fantasy world of Amanda and Laura by hanging out on the fire escape, even though he could never fully escape.  Unfortunately for Tom, his life was cramped like the coffin and he was slowly suffocating emotionally and spiritually.  Unhappy with the lifestyle he followed in the footsteps of his father, he searched for adventure, escaping the nagging of Amanda. 

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Bloom, Harold Ed. Modern Critical Views: Tennessee Williams. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

Williams, Tennessee.  "The Glass Menagerie." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer.  5th ed.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin's. 1999. pp.1865-1908.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Free Glass Menagerie Essays: Parallels to Williams' Life and Symbolism

- The Glass Menagerie:  Parallels to Williams' Life and Use of Symbolism The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a touching play about the lost dreams of a southern family and their struggle to escape reality. The play is a memory play and therefore very poetic in mood, setting, and dialogue. Tom Wingfield serves as the narrator as well as a character in the play. Tom lives with his Southern belle mother, Amanda, and his painfully shy sister, Laura. The action of the play revolves around Amanda's search to find Laura a "gentleman caller....   [tags: The Glass Menagerie]

Free Essays
627 words (1.8 pages)

The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie Essay

- The Theme of Escape in The Glass Menagerie In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, Amanda, Laura, and Tom have chosen to avoid reality. Amanda continually attempts to live in the past. Laura's escape from the real world is her glass collection and old phonograph records. Tom hides from the real world by going to the movies and getting drunk. Each character retreats to their separate world to escape the cruelties of life. Living in the past is Amanda’s way of escaping her pitiful present reality (Knorr)....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
1977 words (5.6 pages)

Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie Essay

- 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....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Escape in The Glass Menagerie

- Escape in The Glass Menagerie In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, none of the characters are capable of living in the real world. Laura, Amanda, Tom and Jim use various methods to escape the brutalities of life. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records. Amanda is obsessed with living in her past. Tom escapes into his world of poetry writing and movies. Jim also reverts to his past and remembers the days when he was a hero. Laura retreats into a world of glass animals and old gramophone records....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
1031 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie

- Illusions of Escape in The Glass Menagerie       Tennessee Williams' play The Glass Menagerie gives readers a look into a truly dysfunctional family.  At first it could seem as if their lives are anything but normal, but Amanda's "impulse to preserve her single-parent family seems as familiar as the morning newspaper" (Presley 53).  The Wingfield's are a typical family just struggling to get by.  Their problems, however, stem from their inability to effectively communicate with each other.  Instead of talking out their differences, they resort to desperate acts.  The desperation that the Wingfields embrace has led them to create illusions in their minds and in turn become deceptive.  Aman...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
3150 words (9 pages)

Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie Essay

- Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie   "Anyone can handle a crisis, but day-to-day living is the most trying aspect of life" (Jackson 19). This is especially true in the drama The Glass Menagerie. None of the characters in this tale is willing to or capable of living in the present. Everyday life becomes so mindless and oppressive that each character's dreams and fantasies become more important than reality itself. Through their dreams, Amanda, Tom, Laura, and Jim attempt to transcend reality in order to escape the monotony of life....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
2290 words (6.5 pages)

Essay on Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie

- Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie   None of the characters in The Glass Menagerie is capable of living in the present. Everyday life is so oppressive that each character, through their dreams, retreats into a fantasy world. This essay will examine the reality faced by Amanda, Tom, Laura and Jim and probe how, through their dreams, each character attempts to transcend reality. Amanda, having "lost" her husband and having to take care of her two children, namely Tom and Laura, who, in her eyes, are equally lost in their lives, leads a hard life....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
2256 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on the Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie

- Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie       The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a perfect example of how Williams incorporates symbols, tensions, and irony to help express the central theme of the play.       One of the most dominant symbols in the play is the fire escape.  It represents something different for each of the characters.  Tom uses the fire escape to escape from his cramped apartment and nagging mother.  Therefore, the fire escape symbolizes a path to the outside world.  For Jim, the gentleman caller, the fire escape represents a means of entering the Wingfield apartment and by doing so, entering the Wingfields' lives.  The mother, Amanda, s...   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Tom in The Glass Menagerie

- The Character of Tom in The Glass Menagerie   Tom Wingfield has a dual role in The Glass Menagerie. The first Tom is the narrator, who introduces his second self, the character. In his fifth soliloquy, Tom the narrator indicates that time has detached him from the drama, "for time is the longest distance between two places" (Williams 1568). In the closing soliloquy Tom recounts how he lives and re-lives the story in his memory, though he is detached from the participants in the original affair....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie

- Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie       The dream of escape is the focal point in the play, The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams. Although each character wants to escape from a different reality, they all feel the need to get away. The father is the most successful in his escape - he leaves the family and doesn't look back. Laura, Amanda, Tom, and Jim, are not as fortunate, 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....   [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]

Better Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)