Which characters faces life more realistically?.
There is no easy answer towards who is considered to face life more realistically, mainly, because every character of the play lives, in some degree, in illusion. The ones which face life in a more realistic way are Tom Wingfield and Jim O"Connor.
Tom could be considered to be realistic because of his attitude towards life. Unlike him, every character has discovered a way to escape from real life: Amanda unwilling to face the truth of her current status returns to her days of glory, the moment she was young, Laura contained and protected from reality by her family, escapes to her imagination through her collection of glass and Jim, unable to face the fact that his is not as successful as he thought he would be back in high-school, dreams of a wonderful future in which his succeeds. But Tom does not escape to a world of illusion, he sees life as it is, harsh and mean. Probably, as he is the member of the Wingfield's family which is in more contact with the outside world, working in a factory all day long, part of that "real world" accompanies him when he gets home. As this occurs he is able to see the things realistically: He sees his present life, with a dysfunctional family to maintain and a job without future, as a nailed coffin in which he is trapped.
Even though he faces this reality, it is important to mention that he does not accepts it, as he tries, unsuccessfully, to escape from it, watching movies and writing poems. But after some time, he gets bored with the movies and as he says, wants "to move".
That is why he looks for a way to change his reality, to modify it and start living life as he wants, as an adventurer and joins the Union of Merchant Seamen. Probably, this is the reason for it can be said the he does not totally face life realistically. He is aware of it but he constantly tries to find a way to escape, so that he can live his dream, his fantasy, as Laura, Amanda and Jim does.