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Essay of the Glass Menagerie
Jenni Frederick
Introduction to American Literature
Everest University Online

Essay on the Glass Menagerie
In the very beginning of this play, Tom avoids conflict with his mother by stepping out for a cigarette in the middle of dinner. Tom wants to escape his mother's nagging so to avoid it all together he leaves the dinner table before dinner is even finished. His solution was to just get up and walk away. The fire escape seems to be Tom's way to escape. All he wants is out of that little house and away from his mother. I believe that Amanda wants Laura to find herself a husband so they can leave their little cramped space. Laura, however seems fine with her surroundings and does not share her mother and brother's wants.
In Scene Two we can see that Laura does not want the same things that her mother wants. She does not want to go to school. School just wasn't for her, that is why she dropped out. Her mother is upset about this because she wants more for her daughter. I think that it is more than that too. I think that Amanda is looking to Laura to save both of them from the life that they have. You can see this when Amanda says to Laura, "So what are we going to do the rest of our lives?" (Williams, 2016, p.705) Amanda is looking for an escape from their poor life as well, but she is looking to Laura to provide that escape.
I believe when all of them talk about their father, there is a little jealousy that comes along with it. They maybe jealous that their father has escaped the life that they have by passing away. Amanda and Tom both make comments about this man and how he is no longer around. You can see that time views death as an escape when he says, "How lucky dead people are!", or when he says, "If self is what I thought of, Mother, I'd be where he is–GONE!" (Williams, 2016, p.709) He is talking about how is father is gone and that if he really did what he wanted to do, he would be gone too.
Tom's drinking and watching movies, Laura's escape from school and going to the park or listening to music, and Amanda's nagging and reminiscing about the past are all forms of their escape. This is how the escape the stress of their life. They all continuously try to escape their life that they have, but can't seem to do it.
The dance hall across the street is in a way a slap in the face to them. "Paradise" is in the time of the hall, but none of them are in their version of paradise. They are far from it. They long for it, but can't have it.
In the end, Tom ends up leaving, all the while thinking that he is escaping, but he then worries about Laura and realizes that he really truly hasn't escaped anything. He couldn't escape thinking about his sister and the regret of leaving her behind got to him. You can see this when he states, "Oh, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be!" (Williams, 2016, p.754) He tried to escape, but then couldn't escape the thought of leaving Laura behind.

References:
Williams, T. (2016) In Introduction to American Literature Ed. The Glass Menagerie. (pp. 696-754)
Pearson Custom Library of American Literaturej

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