The Bittersweet Escape Essay

781 words - 4 pages

Facing our responsibilities and duties is tough, so we sometimes push things aside and choose to forget as well as move on; we choose to abandon the obligations we cannot fulfill or select to avoid them all together. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams explores the notion of abandonment to escape obligations, but the center of the story deals with the Wingfield family and their struggles in the St. Luis of 1937. They are a poor family and struggle to make ends meet whether it be by the mother of the family, Amanda Wingfield, selling magazine subscriptions or her son, Tom Wingfield, working in a shoe factory; the abandonment of the father in the family brings about struggle for the ...view middle of the document...

Tom works very hard to support his family, but his warehouse job stops him from following his dreams so he decides to leave St. Luis as, “[Tom] descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in his father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space” (137). Tom is stuck within a void in space in the Wingfield apartment not being able to advance his career or motivations, but his abandonment put his life into motion as now he can now experience and live the life he always wanted without having to provide for his family. Tom’s abandonment brings further difficulty and misery into the lives of Amanda and his crippled sister, Laura, who do not have stable jobs that they can support themselves with in Tom’s absence.

Jim O’Conner, Tom’s coworker and friend in the shoe warehouse, is invited over to the Wingfield residence to be a potential suitor for Laura, but he leaves the family to go and pick up his fiancé breaking the family’s hope for a happier future. Jim’s “abandonment” of the family brings Amanda added hardship as she continues to worry about Laura’s future when she tells Tom,...

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