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Escape from Reality in The Glass Menagerie
In life we face many obstacles in which we must deal with in order to move on. Many times we unattach ourselves from reality in order to keep our hopes up. In The Glass Menagerie, every character but that of Jim O'Connor experiences a loss of reality due to the difficult situation they live in. To some degree, Jim also does but he is the most realistic character in the play.
We as human beings always seem to look back on our youth as the "glory days" of our lives. Amanda Wingfield, Tom and Laura's mother, frequently recalls her youth to the point that Tom knows exactly what story is coming. Her lust to relive the past and her hope that Laura will one day follow in her footsteps controls most of the plot of the story. Amanda regularly speaks of the seventeen gentlemen callers she received while living in Blue Mountain (Gale 127). She describes the men as if they are either wealthy or have died tragic or heroic deaths; but the man she married is regarded as unsuccessful and irresponsible (Gale 128). The fact that he left them plays an important part in developing the story. Mr. Wingfield is viewed as the cause of the misery they live in and Amanda is often worried that Tom will follow in his father's footsteps. It seems whatever it was that drove Mr. Wingfield away was destined to finally drive Tom away.
While there are those who view their past as the best days of their lives, you will find many who focus on the future and what happiness it shall bring. Tom has many dreams he wants to fulfill but he is held down by having to care for and support Luara and Amanda.
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