Some would argue that the father’s departure in The Glass Menagerie is not responsible for the Wingfield family’s instability. They would say the Wingfield family’s dysfunction is due primarily because of the mother, Amanda. First, they suggest Amanda is too controlling over her children but they are not really children rather than young adults who can make their own decisions. This can be seen on the very first scene of the film when Amanda tells Tom, a grown man, that the way he was eating is wrong. She goes on and on, judging him on the way he is eating and that he should slow down and enjoy the meal. Tom, of course, becomes very frustrated with her on-going remarks of him eating that he tells her that she is getting annoying and decides to leave the kitche...
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...does not believe him and becomes afraid that Tom is becoming more like his father. Tom actually admits to being like his father when he is having a conversation with Jim the night he went over to their apartment. “I’m like my father. The bastard son of a bastard!” (Numen). He says this after he discusses with Jim his plans to leave his family in search for adventure like the people in the movies. Tom finally decides to leave them after Amanda yells at him for Jim’s engagement. This makes Tom furious because he was unaware that Jim was engaged. As he leaves he tells them that he is leaving to the movies, but this time is a lie because he never comes back home.
The dysfunction of the Wingfield family was caused by the father’s abandonment which led to many financial problems, caused the mother to become extremely controlling, and Tom adopted his father’s behavior.
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