Tom is like his father in that he wants to run away from his problems. He tries to escape through drinking and movies. Of course, Amanda, his mother, is nagging and hard to please. She finds fault with Tom and possibly is the reason he wants to leave home.
Understandably, Tom is under much pressure. He has to support his mother and sister. In return, his mother complains and insists that he help her find a suitor for Laura. Tom does his best. He brings home Jim. Jim and Laura share an intimate moment before Jim reveals that he is engage.
Learning of Jim's engagement status, Amanda attacks Tom for not knowing that Jim was engaged. Tom has taken all he can take. He runs away from home. The play is his memory of his mother and Laura.