Escape Mechanisms in The Glass Menagerie
In Tennessee Williams' play, The Glass Menagerie, each character attempts to escape the real world by creating their own “reality”. Laura hides from the world by magnifying her illness. Tom convinces himself that his needs supersede the needs of his family. Amanda focuses almost exclusively on the past - when she saw herself as a desirable southern belle. Even Jim focus his hopes on recapturing his good old high school days. Each character transposes their difficult situations into shadows of the truth.
Laura, our fragile daughter-figure, finds herself escaping life at every turn. She induces sickness in her typing class and even as the Gentleman Caller awaits her in the livingroom. Unable to deal with those difficulties, Laura goes to the zoo and walks aimlessly around the city to waste time. Frightened of interacting with people, she looks to her collection of glass animals as a place of secure acceptance. Laura clings to the fear that she is strange and crippled though she herself exacerbates the reality of that. Magnifying her illness, denying her inner beauty to come forth, is the way Laura hides from a world lit by 'lightning."
Tom, on the other hand, relies on self-denial to justify his concerns and feelings of insecurity. By making himself believe that he is a righteous male, he convinces himself that his needs supersede his family's. Claiming to be an artist of emotions, he projects to the audience a facade of control and...