How Is Escapisms Presented Through Symbols Used Within ‘The Glass Menagerie’ And ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’

1282 words - 6 pages

Escapism is a key concept within both plays ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ and ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ Brian Friel and Tennessee Williams both use symbolism to present the female characters desire to escape their claustrophobic and melancholy environment. The two plays explore the contrast of reality and the illusory world that allows the characters to retreat from the harsh realities of economic depression and abandonment. D. Brent Barnard’s ‘The Symbolism of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie: An inductive approach’ reveals Tennessee William’s discovery of escapism through writing that allowed him to ‘escape from the world of reality in which’ he felt uncomfortable. Perhaps expressing his use ...view middle of the document...

D. Brent Barnard’s ‘The Symbolism of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie: An inductive approach’ discusses the idea that the characters of ‘The Glass menagerie’ feel a ‘sense of longing’ as they look back on memories before the war and great depression, perhaps illustrating Tom’s pessimistic and jaded outlook of circumstances he is forced to endure as well as his frantic need to break away from the post-war environment.

The two plays express a sense of abandonment and repression of the female characters often leading them to use the symbols within the two plays as a form of escapism, one of these recurring symbols is music. Within the play ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ we are first introduced to its significance when in act 1 Michael recalls his memories of when they first got the radio ‘we got our first wireless set that summer- well, a sort of set; and it obsessed us.’ expressing not only his but his aunt’s infatuation with the radio when in Act 1 the Mundy sisters burst into dance, described as a ‘wild and savage outburst – a moment of pure theatre, a moment of transforming power’ In a theatre review written by Eberhard Bort. Through the play it is often personified and it is even given the name ‘Marconi’ illustrating the obsession as well as its ‘pagan’ power to control and change the sisters, allowing them to embrace the festival ‘I don’t care how young they, how drunk and dirty and sweaty they are. I want to dance, Kate. It’s the festival of Lughnasa. I’m only thirty-five. I want to dance.’ The wireless allows us to see power of pagan music changing and enhancing the characters due to the feminine elements of the festival of Lughnasa, allowing the sisters to experience a sexual awakening as well as being able to use it as a form of escapism from the abandonment and isolation they feel.

In Tennessee Williams's ‘Glass menagerie’ stage directions frequently call for music to underscore key moments in a scene. “The Glass Menagerie” theme repeats habitually throughout the play. As well as music being a key part of stage directions it is also a symbol featuring within the play its self. The Victrola left by Mr Wingfield provides Laura with an auditory escape similarly to that of the characters in ‘Dancing at Lugnasa’ ‘She lives in a world of her own-a world of little glass ornaments, mother… she plays old phonograph records and-that’s about all-‘But for herself and Amanda it is also a constant reminder of abandonment due to the absence of Mr Wingfield revealing a slightly more melancholy side to the symbolism of music within the play. When discussing Laura, Amanda tells Tom that...

Find Another Essay On How is escapisms presented through symbols used within ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

Essay on the Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie

925 words - 4 pages Use of Symbols, Tensions, and Irony in The Glass Menagerie       The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, is a perfect example of how Williams incorporates symbols, tensions, and irony to help express the central theme of the play.       One of the most dominant symbols in the play is the fire escape.  It represents something different for each of the characters.  Tom uses the fire escape to escape from his cramped apartment

How a screan device could be used for the book The Glass Menagerie

1183 words - 5 pages device betters the novel and is positive when used correctly like it is in The Glass Menagerie.Screen devices (6):a. p. 16 When Willy talks about Biff and all the accolades he got in the past and how its amazing he's at where he is even though the past looked to great. Picture of Willy winning most popular in his graduation year bookb. p. 21 When Biff complains about his father's ability to mock him all the time. A picture would be projected of

"The Glass Menagerie" by Tennesse Williams; essay on symbols in setting

710 words - 3 pages "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams, is a play that has captured the hearts of Americans for numerous generations. The simple hopefulness of its characters is shown through the obvious but intricate use of symbols. Williams, just like his narrator,Tom, is a poet with a "weakness for symbols". Four main elements of setting are used as symbols in this play; the fire escape, the glass unicorn, the photograph of Mr. Wingfield, and the

Literary devices used in both "RoseColored Glasses" and "The Glass Menagerie" - the three themes: disappointment, expectations, and escapism

1345 words - 5 pages "The Glass Menagerie" is about a dysfunctional family that consists of a mother, and her two adult children, Tom and Laura. All of them dream to seek comfort and to escape reality because none of them enjoys the life they lead. Similarly, in "Rose-Colored Glasses", the narrator of the poem is inclined to dream rather than to face reality because she has not overcome the transition from one big happy family to getting kicked out of her old home

Some critics believe that the visual and musical effects used in 'The glass Menagerie' by Tennesse Williams are what make it such an effective play. Do you agree?

1847 words - 7 pages is relevant as she keeps a glass menagerie, it is also suggesting 'Laura' is innocent.Tennessee Williams' stage directions also include instructions on how the character should talk and act. These instructions generally are there to show which emotions the characters are feeling. ''(Crossing out to kitchenette. Airily)''. Within the dialogue some words are in italic to show emotion or stress on these words. ''...- your mother received - seventeen

TITLE- KING CREOLE Essay looks at the way that music was used in the popular Elvis film 'King Creole', and how popular music guides the film helping to define the characters within the story

676 words - 3 pages fights, robberies, and underage sexual encounters." Caine; 39In this excerpt from King Creole, we see Elvis strolling through a busy department store crooning soft smooth tunes to the surrounding ladies on his acoustic guitar. It is only when he reaches the milk bar, and meets Nellie, that we realise that he is part of a thieving scheme. King Creole raised major concerns in Britain about the impact of rock 'n' roll influencing levels of juvenile

The impression on Amanda as a mother at the end of the scene 1 of the play "Glass Menagerie by Tennessee William

536 words - 2 pages "The Glass Menagerie", written by Tennessee William, is a great play of profoundly characterization. Whithin only scene one of the play, we can visualize and understand the characteristics of all characters, especially Amanda, an overbearing mother of illusion but need much more sympathetic.As mother, Amanda decides everything in the family and requires her children's obeying without caring of their feeling. That is why Tom is very annoying ""I

Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie

2286 words - 9 pages Dreams and Escape in The Glass Menagerie   None of the characters in The Glass Menagerie is capable of living in the present. Everyday life is so oppressive that each character, through their dreams, retreats into a fantasy world. This essay will examine the reality faced by Amanda, Tom, Laura and Jim and probe how, through their dreams, each character attempts to transcend reality. Amanda, having "lost" her husband and having

The Glass Menagerie: Trapped and Going Nowhere

1891 words - 8 pages describes how shy Laura can be at times. Nevertheless towards the end of the play, Jim seems to help Laura come out of her shell and she believes in her self just a little more. Additionally, in the play, The Glass Menagerie, Laura has a small handicap that she thinks everyone appears to notice. Ever since birth, one of Laura’s legs was shorter than the other giving her a small limp when she walked. This is something so small that it can

the glass menagerie

1300 words - 5 pages Glass Menagerie, breaks through Laura's secret world. Even Laura is vulnerable after all. He is a friend of Tom from the factory who Tom invites to dinner and Amanda treats as Laura's first gentleman caller. Jim mentions the symbolic name "Blue Roses" which he recalls. This name symbolizes Laura's unusual allure. Jim was a popular athlete in high school and is now a shipping clerk at the shoe warehouse in which Tom works. He is unwaveringly devoted

The Glass Menagerie

514 words - 2 pages The Glass Menagerie; An Interpretation The Glass Menagerie, the tittle of a play by Tennessee Williams is also used as a subjective point of reference throughout the play. A piece in the collection can be looked at a symbol for one of each of the five main characters. The beginning of the play opens and is grounded in the connection between Lora and the glass menagerie. Specifically, the unicorn, a mythical and romanticized animal, represents

Similar Essays

Production Essay For Dancing At Lughnasa

1113 words - 5 pages Dancing at Lughnasa is a play about five sisters living in Ireland. The play is narrated by the son of Chris, the youngest of the sisters. Dancing at Lughnasa is a drama and is a very emotional play. It seems like a slow moving play, and not much really happens, but at the end the audience realizes everything has changed for the Mundy family. This play is not only emotional, but also full of many underlying meanings. The characters are all

Symbols Of Escapism In The Glass Menagerie

785 words - 3 pages There are many symbols of escapism presented in the Glass Menagerie and each character has its own symbols connected to it. The characters will, however, only ever be able to escape their '2 by 4' situation for a brief moment. This essay will discuss the characters in the play and how they are linked to the symbols of escapism with reference to the play.In the play Tom becomes highly pre-occupied with the magician and his ability to escape the

Types Of Relationships In Friel´S Dancing At Lughnasa

1330 words - 5 pages The play “Dancing at Lughnasa” written by Brain Friel is full of different types of relationships which I will explore in my essay. The typical and traditional example of relationships between women and man in this play is portrayed through Chris and Gerry. The dynamics of their relationship infrequently changes with time. Although they are bound together by their son Michael, they don’t live together and aren’t married. Gerry visits are

Three Important Symbols In The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

1468 words - 6 pages Three Important Symbols in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams        In Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, the narrator is used to reveal elements of Williams' own life as a victim of the Depression in the 1930s. Williams does this through his eloquent use of symbolism. Three symbols seem to reveal Williams' intent especially accurately; the unicorn, the picture of Mr. Wingfield, and Malvolio's coffin trick