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The Glass Menagerie

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The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams

The spine of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie is that those who try to escape reality will end up with misfortune and loneliness. Williams' character of Amanda depicts an aggressive mother who tries to push her daughter, Laura, to break out of her shell of being a shy, sweet young lady and find a suitable husband. While initially perceived as "motherly love," the audience finds that Amanda's attempts to push her daughter are simply not as they seem. Due to her past, Amanda looks to Laura as her escape from reality. It is revealed that Amanda never really had a heathly relationship with her husband, and due to that expereience, she lives through Laura in order to escape her own past. She hopes that by turning Laura's life around, Amanda can ultimately feel better about herself. Laura's escape from her mother and the reality of her socially awkward nature is through her glass menagerie of animals that she plays with everyday. Because Amanda is obsessed with pushing her to be more outgoing, make new friends, and find a suitable husband, Laura finds her escape in playing with her glass animals. Amanda's son Tom is always feeling controlled by his mother. She constantly asks him where he is going and what he is doing, even though he is a grown man. Tom responds that he is going to the "movies," but in reality, he goes out to bars to get drunk every evening. By going out and drowning his sorrows in the consumption of alcohol, Tom finds his escape from Amanda and reality. All three characters in this play are trying to escape from themselves. Though they seem to find someone or something to use as an escape, at the end of the day they must face reality.

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