Discuss three ways in which the theme of "escape" is symbolized in "The Glass Menagerie".

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Each member of the Wingfield family has a different way of escaping reality.

1. For Laura, escape means playing with her glass menagerie. This helps her make up all kinds of fantasies and escape from the reality of dealing with life and people.

2. Amanda escapes to the past. Her constant retelling of her past in "Blue Mountain" is a reminder that she has never really left her childhood home. She always reminds her children of the day she entertained 17 gentlemen callers. When Jim is about to arrive, she even puts on an old gown she wore during her younger days when she "lead the cotillion " and gathered jonquils in the afternoon.

3. Tom's way of escaping is to physically leave and join the merchant marines. He thinks if he is physically away from his family, he will have escaped them. But, as he says at the end of the play,"Oh Laura,Laura. I thought I had left you behind but I am more faithful than I intended to be." His memory of Laura still haunts him, even to the point of supposedly writing the play we see on stage.

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The Glass Menagerie

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