The Glass Menagerie

Satisfactory Essays
The Glass Menagerie

Abuse that begins during early childhood is very detrimental to the one being abused. The child is just beginning to learn who they are as a person. Children who are abused or made fun of often feel that they are unworthy and have little or no power and that the bullies are superior and have all the power. They often grow into depressed teenagers. In addition, many of the children abused or tormented of lose all hope and become abusers themselves. Sometimes a mental disability is developed. Either way, childhood abuse has a lifetime effect on the personality of the abused. It is very unlikely that anything positive will bloom out of someone being abused or tormented as a child.

Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie is a great example of a person who was affected by tormenting. Laura is an extremely shy, sensitive, and self-conscious person by nature. Her shyness is even made worse by her mother’s forceful and almost brutal nature. Laura’s mother, Amanda, puts an enormous amount of pressure on her daughter. Amanda definitely wants the best for Laura but she does not understand that her daughter is very different from herself. Amanda constantly tells love stories and tells tales of many gentleman callers. She constantly tells her daughter to stay pretty for her gentleman callers even though Laura does not expect any. After, Laura drops out of school Amanda tries to get Laura’s brother Tom to set her up with a man. Amanda forces her daughter to dress the way she thinks is appropriate. When Laura’s date, Jim arrives Amanda puts tremendous pressure on Laura. Laura is extremely sick, yet Amanda forces her to open the door for Jim and engage in conversation. As a result of Amanda wanting and pressuring Laura into becoming a person she is not, Laura withdrew herself from reality.

Another factor that affected Laura as a person was her slight physical defect, a limp. Her oversensitive nature combined with the way people with disabilities are treated made her think that everyone notices the limp and it become a huge stumbling block to normal living. Her inability to overcome this defect causes her to withdraw into her world of illusion.

Tom Wingfield, Amanda’s son is another character in the play that was tormented by Amanda and others.
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