Tom's engagement in three modes of salvation: going to the movies, going to the moon, going much furthur? What does each mean?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom feels very confined by his mundane life. His job in the warehouse is boring, at home his overbearing mother is constantly nagging him and telling him what to do.  So as a way to escape his life, his mother and his small apartment, he goes to the movies every night.

"I go to the movies because I like adventure.  Adventure is something I don't have much of at work, so I go to the movies." (Williams pg. 33)

The reference about Tom going to the moon has to do with a comment Amanda makes to him in anger at the end of the play when she confronts him about Jim being engaged and Tom not knowing this important fact. 

Tom says: "All right, I will! the more you shout about my selfishness to me the quicker I'll go and I don't go to the movies." (Williams, pg. 96)

Amanda says: "Go, then! Go to the moon-you selfish dreamer!" (Williams, pg. 96)

This comment is just a figure of speech, whereby she doesn't care where Tom goes.  In his final speech, Tom says:

I didn't go to the moon, I went much further-for time is the longest distance between two places." (Williams, pg. 96)

After he was fired from his job at the warehouse, he wanted to get as far away from his mother and his old life as possible.  So he joined the Merchant Seaman and went from city to city. Getting further and further away from Amanda and Laura.  He tells the audience that he can't seem to leave Laura behind though.

Read the study guide:
The Glass Menagerie

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