D3Lee - Lee 1 Hanna Lee Dr. Jutta Schamp English 2 (#1877)...

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Lee 1 Hanna Lee Dr. Jutta Schamp English 2 (#1877) June 8, 2011 Escapism in The Glass Menagerie Living in the present and facing the reality is very important in leading our lives. Although some people live in the present, they do not face the reality and spend too much time to regret the past faults, or feel anxious about the future that does not come yet. The people who do not feel satisfied in the reality tend to seek comfort in another world. Oxford English Dictionary defines escapism that “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.” The escapism is well-described in Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie . The play discusses four escapists who want to get out from the miserable reality and escape into their own fantasy worlds. Specifically, the escapism is expressed in Amanda’s yearning for her gorgeous past memories, Laura’s world of her glass menagerie, Jim’s pursuit of successful career, and Tom’s dream of adventurer’s life. Amanda, the mother of Tom and Laura, blames on her unhappy marriage, so she escapes into her memories of abundant and beautiful youth, especially the memories on many gentlemen callers. During her youth in the Blue Mountain, Amanda grew up without a much hardship, and many gentlemen used to visit her. Among the many wealthy gentlemen callers, she got married with a telephone man because of the rule that “[M]an proposes—and woman accepts the proposal!” (1754). Her husband was a person who loves to wander around. He was not rich like Amanda’s other gentlemen callers. After the marriage, he left home to pursue his adventurous life. With the absent of breadwinner, the hard life of Amanda and her children was begun. Unlike
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her noble youth, her failed marriage with the telephone man brings extreme poverty to Wingfield family. Amanda deplores, “A telephone man who—fell in love with long—distance! Now he travels and I don’t even know where!” (1754). She is resentful of her husband’s irresponsibility on the family. A woman who was once young and abundant is now old and pitiful woman who suffers from poverty. She deeply regrets her choice on the marriage which results in the unpleasant reality because it changes her wealthy and beautiful life into the miserable life. Thus, she does not want to face the reality that is too harsh to endure. For a flight from reality, she yearns her aristocratic Southern past, especially many rich and good-looking callers. According to an essay, “Tennessee Williams, Theatre Poet in Prose” written by Frank Durham, Amanda’s behavior of wearing an old dress symbolizes her obsession with a gentleman caller; “Awaiting the arrival of the Gentleman Caller, Amanda dresses herself in the old gown of her youthful triumphs in the lost Never-Never Land of the Delta” (Durham 11). Amanda is grasped by her rich gentlemen callers. In her memory, the aristocratic Southern memory functions as a place to rest, so she wants to get a relief from the memory. Furthermore,
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1 taught by Professor Meyer during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

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D3Lee - Lee 1 Hanna Lee Dr. Jutta Schamp English 2 (#1877)...

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