Dreams of Escape in The Glass Menagerie Essay example

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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. Having lost her husband and being left alone to raise her two children Tom and Laura, Amanda finds herself in a very undesirable situation. This situation is only made worse through Amanda's
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Equally unrealistic is her abrupt reversion to her past when the gentleman caller is about to arrive, when the dream of a promising future seems about to be realized. On this occasion, she is dressed in the same girlish frock she wore on the day she met the children's father, attempting to conceal her shabby present and recapture part of the elegance she associates with her giddy days of entertaining many gentleman callers. Bewildered by her immediate surroundings and unable to cope with the social and economic reality of the Depression days, Amanda is often obsessed with her past as the genteel southern belle dominated by refined social gatherings and elegant living conditions, reminiscing about her own experiences with men in Blue Mountain: "One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain - your mother received - seventeen! - gentleman callers!..." (Williams 16). Attempting to materialize her southern belle past, she even makes constant insistence on Laura's having gentleman callers.

Tom, though not physically crippled as his sister Laura, finds himself "paralyzed" in the warehouse in which he works. Faced with the bleak aspects, and perhaps the bleak
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