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Word Count: 791
In The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams uses the theme of escape to portray the inutility and disparity of each of the characters dreams The Glass Menagerie takes place in the small ghetto apartment of the Wingfield family Poverty is what has trapped them in their meager living quarters The escape from this apartment these relationships and this way of life is an imperative theme throughout the play The fire escape the dance hall the absence of Mr Wingfield and the unavoidable departure of Tom can all be linked to these escapes In the first scene Williams mentions the slow and implacable fires of human desperation 693-694 that burn in this and the neighboring apartment buildings Tom feels the heat of these fires of desperation as he speaks to us from the fire escape in the opening scene For each of the characters the fire escape represents something different For everyone in the Wingfield family the fire escape is an icon of the transition from freedom to being surrounded by desperation It gives the chance for Tom to get out of the apartment and away from his irritating mother For Amanda the fire escape is a way for the gentleman callers to get into their lives Lauras escape however seems to be hiding inside the apartment The fire escape is a separation of reality and the unknown The Paradise Dance Hall is located across the street from the Wingfield apartment The name of the dance hall is very ironic since the Winfields lives are as far from paradise as it seems possible Laura plays the same records repeatedly to find tranquility Maybe the music trailing from the dance hall up to the
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