Tom can be described as a tortured soul, living with his mother and bachelors sister in a cramped apartment in SST Louis. From a young age, Tom is forced into the role of being the man of the house as his father abandons the family. One can say that this is the cause of Tom's deep resentment towards his life. He has to work long hours in a warehouse to pay the bills and take care of his nagging mother and sister.
Tom's true dreams are to become a writer and he writes poetry in his spare time, this is what eventually gets him fired from his Job. Tom has complex relationships with both his family members. Although he always fights with his mother, we see that he does love her. Maybe so much that he can't stand her. Tom is softer towards his sister Laura, whom although is older, does not act like it. Tom finds himself trapped in an apartment and in a life he does not want.
He finds an escape by going to the movies in which he lives vicariously through. In the movies he finds the adventure, thrill and excitement that his own life Is lacking In. We see Tom's selfishness when he doesn't pay for the electricity bill but instead uses the money for his own escape. Tom is torn between his loyalty to himself, his life, hopes and dreams; and his loyalty to his family, his own flesh and blood. In the end he Is loyal to himself, Just like his father.
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Tom almost uses the abandonment of his father as an excuse to do the same as if it is a genetic thing. Tom Is a complex and 3-delusional character In that he Isn't wholly good or wholly bad either, like all human beings. He truly does care for his family and especially his sister as he feels guilt and remorse for leaving her. But he also realizes that he will never truly experience life If he stays and neither will they. Therefore though his departure maybe he does not only set himself free, but his family as well.
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