In the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, a man name Tom Wingfield who takes care of his mother (Amanda), and his little sister (Laura). Laura is a very special girl, who has a very bad leg condition; she is pretty much handicapped. Laura’s personality makes her not normal and separates her from other people. Jim O’Connor is a man who accidentally breaks Laura’s unicorn glass and that symbolizes Laura becoming normal.An article by Thomas William notes that, “Despite the simple plot, Williams’s blends elements of expressionism and realism in poetic dialogue, pervasive symbolism, and music and lighting effects that evoke the sensations of memory”(1). Tennessee Williams uses the symbolism of Laura’s unicorn and symbolism of Tom with the fire escape, the movies, and the magic coffin trick to convey the theme that some people are unable to cope with life in the real world and therefore are not able to live normal lives.
Tom tries to escape the real world by going to the fire escape. Tom is full of contradiction. On the one hand, he reads literature, writes poetry, and dreams of escape, adventure, and higher things. Tom has so many examples of escaping the real world like the fire escape. Tom tells Jim that he is constantly boiling inside.
Tom says to Jim, “I’m starting to boil inside. I know I seem dreamy, but inside—well, I’m boiling!Whenever I pick up a shoe, I shudder a little thinking how short life is and what I am dong! —Whatever that means. I know it doesn’t mean shoes—except as something to wear on a traveler’s feet” (1003)!! The fire escape lets Tom think about all the things he could do, which makes his body boiling, which then lead to the fire escape. While Tom is talking to Jim on the fire escape, some of Tom’s thoughts begin to come out on how much he wants to leave and live an adventures life.Tom announces that, “The Union of Merchant Seamen” (1003). Tom tells Jim that he is going to join the marines and Jim asked what about his mother and Tom refers himself as a bastard son of a bastard.
Fire escape shows how fired up Tom is and the way his blood is boiling about leaving. Tom truly loves his mother and sister and it’s really hard for him to leave his sister Laura behind.