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The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams: Escapism and Character Analysis - Research Paper Example

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Summary
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams is a beautiful and lyrical play in which the concepts of delusion, fantasy, and family dynamic come together to form the magic of a memory in which the perceptions of a man are played out through the interactions and sorrows of his family life. …
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The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams: Escapism and Character Analysis
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The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams: Escapism and Character Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... The characters indulge in escapist thoughts in order to avoid the truths about their lives. Through an examination of the ways in which the escapist natures of Tom, Laura and Amanda present within the play, an understanding of the family dynamic emerges that provides the audience with a sense of the balance between delusion and hope.
Of the three characters, it is Amanda who exists most definitively in the space of escapism. She has defined her world through memories of the past that defined who she was in a parallel that defines who she wants to be through the success of her daughter. She states “All of my gentleman callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes--and woman accepts the proposal" (Williams 64,Scene 6). Amanda has positioned herself in the center of the future of her daughter, desiring for her want she could not attain for herself. She is presented as obnoxious about her hopes for Laura, deluding herself into believing that Laura can become the type of wife and mother that Amanda had hoped to be herself, had tragedy not taken that from her within her own life. She says “Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man. [Gets up with a spark of revival] Sister, that's what you'll do!”. Her hopes are somewhat stale, the way in which she presents them leaving Tom with a bitter taste, his only real memory of her being that she existed in her delusions, although one must always remember that in the shape of memory, subtleties of character can be stripped away, leaving only what was most relevant and dear. Amanda presents as a woman who is lost in a hope for the future that is defined exclusively by an outline that she has designed for her daughter. She escapes into this future in order to create the dream space in which her hopes are mirrored in the success that Laura achieves. This success is through marriage, her dream to see her daughter married to a certain type of man who has brought to the family a settled and secure position. This dream is rooted in the imaginings of Amanda’s past from a Southern upbringing. Her charms are thick and sometimes brutal as they lace through the play creating a contrast of humiliation and pain for Tom who sees her delusions for their dishonesty and fragility. What she remembers of life is the future she seeks, but in the fusion of memory and futurism, she is bound in hopes that can never be fulfilled. Amanda suffers from a space in which she holds onto the past and expects the future to be a reflection of that past. Myers calls this a future as fetish in which the past is locked into the imaginings of the future in such a way that it becomes a point of ridicule. She uses the example of the ideas of the 1950s in regard to nuclear fallout, people surrounded by ping pong tables, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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