- the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy
The desire to escape and find a new place seems to be an undercurrent theme in The Gold Coast, specifically for Jim. The crew goes to Europe to get away and find something different; however, they realize it’s just the same as Orange County. The image of the homeless burns in Jim’s mind, and he says, “Lets leave. I don’t like it here” (231). Escapism brought him to Europe, and escapism brought him back to Orange County.
Escapism is also evident in Jim and Hana’s relationship. It’s obvious that Jim wants to get unstuck from the continuous loop of life in Orange County, as he actually says so himself, and from wanting to go to Europe. Europe wasn’t a successful outlet from the loop, but it seems that Hana is. At first, Jim wasn’t attracted to Hana, not romantically anyway. After some time, he is, and during their unplanned and unobserved sexual encounter, Jim realizes it’s way different with Hana. Maybe Jim’s escape isn’t a place, but a person.
I would say that escapism can lead to the founding of a utopia. Did escapism lead Europeans to what is now the United States of America? They saw it as a place of opportunity, a place of possibility, and a place to start anew. An escape doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a place, as in Jim’s case, but most often it does. In that case, a new place, a place of good and new and happiness (utopia) can be created.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. The Gold Coast. New York: St. Martin’s, 1988. Print.
I Wanna Escape. N.d. Lovethispic. Waterbaby. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.