Tennessee Williams has a gift for character. Not many playwrights do, and even fewer possess the unique ability to craft a character as paradoxical and complex as Amanda Wingfield. In The Glass Menagerie, Amanda is a very difficult character to understand because of her psychological disposition. Williams realizes this and provides the reader with a character description in hopes of making the character more accessible to meticulous analysis.
AMANDA WINGFIELD the mother. A little woman of great but confused vitality clinging frantically to another time and place. Her characterization must be carefully created, not copied from type. She is not paranoiac, but her life is paranoia. There is much to admire in Amanda, and as much to love and pity as there is to laugh at. Certainly she has endurance and a kind of heroism, and though her foolishness makes her unwittingly cruel at times, there is tenderness in her slight person. (Williams 781)
“Before the first lines are spoken Amanda's complexity is established”(Falk 126) by the nuances a...
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Falk, Signi. "The Southern Gentlewoman." Modern Critical Interpretations Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie. ed. Harold Bloom. NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.
Jackson, Esther Merle. The Broken World of Tennessee Williams. Madison: & of Wisconsin P, 1965.
Parker, R.B., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Glass Menagerie. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1983.
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. Masterpieces of the Drama. Ed. Alexander W. Allison, Arthus J. Carr, Arthur M. Eastman. 5th ed. NY: Macmillan, 1986. 779- 814.
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