Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie furnishes an excellent example of a carefully crafted, complex character whose speech and action arise from the "psychological" being created by the playwright.
In his character description, Tennessee Williams starts his reader on the road to discovering Amanda's complexity.
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 and contrasts given here. This basic description must be laid over all dialogue and action throughout the play so as to preserve the fullness of Amanda's character at times when only portions of her nature are being exhibited.
The complexity of Amanda's character directly affects her action and dialogue with her children. In her role as mother she exhibits an overwhelming desire to see her children succeed in life. In trying to...
... middle of paper ...
...ding Plays. Boston: Allyn, 1990. 307-314.
Bigsby, C.W.E. A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama. Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984.
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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Exploring Amanda of The Glass Menagerie 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.... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
2049 words (5.9 pages)
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams had ordinary people in an ordinary life that closely resembled the influences of Williams’ personal life while having reoccurring themes and motifs throughout the story. The play has been done by many with some variations in the scripts and setting while still clinging to the basic ideas of the original play. Amanda Wingfield was a complex character that encompassed many facets of her personality. She longed to have the life she had as a girl and young woman with gentleman callers and being the center of attention; her reality though, was a much more dismal existence with a son who worked at a factory making little money at a job he despised and a d... [tags: The Glass Menagerie]
1468 words (4.2 pages)
- The Fantasy World of The Glass Menagerie In The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams creates a world in which the characters are disillusioned by the present. Amanda, Tom, and Laura achieve this disillusionment by resorting to separate worlds where they can find sanctuary. Each character develops their own world, far away from reality. Amanda frees herself from the harsh realities of life by constantly reminding herself of the past. To begin with, she continuously repeats the story of the "one Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain" when she received seventeen gentlemen callers (1195).... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
682 words (1.9 pages)
- Symbolism in The Glass Menagerie Symbolism plays an integral part in Williams’s play, The Glass Menagerie. Examples of the use of symbolism include the fire escape, as an escape from the family, the phonograph, as an escape from reality, the unicorn, as a symbol for Laura's uniqueness and the father’s photograph, representing something different to each character. Through regonition of these symbols, a greater understanding of the play’s theme is achieved. Throughout the play, Tom Wingfield was torn by a responsibility he felt for his mother and sister and the need to be his own man.... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- Imagined Lives in The Glass Menagerie The Glass Menagerie is representative of how modern home life is perceive in many modern works of literature. The home is broken, and each family member survives only because of their dreams, which lie in a fantastic world. Amanda, Tom, and Laura's fantasies significantly affect how they interact with each other, and foreshadow the type of disappointment that each character faces at the end of this tragedy. Amanda, while living in the Depression, is still caught up in her youth.... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
706 words (2 pages)
- Analysis of Scenes 4-5 of The Glass Menagerie "Tom Fishes in his pockets for his door key, removing a motley assortment of articles in the search, including a shower of movie ticket stubs and an empty bottle. At last he finds the key, but just as he is about to insert it, it slips from his fingers. He strikes a match and crouches below the door." Tom is a character that is constantly looking for individuality and adventure. Unfortunately, his everyday life cannot provide those for him.... [tags: Glass Menagerie essays]
971 words (2.8 pages)
- Tennessee Williams lived a tragic life, similar to the type of plays he wrote. Williams was born March 26, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi and given the name Thomas Lanier Williams, III. It wasn’t until he entered college at University of Missouri-Columbia did the journalism student obtain the name Tennessee. His college buddies gave him the name because of his southern accent. Williams portrayed the southern lifestyle in many of his plays. He lived in a dysfunctional family. Williams and his mentally ill sister were raised for the most part by their mother because his father spent so much time on the road as a traveling salesman.... [tags: Character Analysis, Laura Wingfield, Review]
1280 words (3.7 pages)
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams was a confusing, astounding, and wonderful play that takes an in depth look at the complex relationships that develop between members of a family and then presents them for the audience's dissection. How did the characters in the play interact. What were the independent and dependent relationships between the characters. Perhaps most important, how did they cope with one another. That seemed to be the key question when looking at The Glass Menagerie. Each character had their own method for dealing with the others and reality, primarily by not truly dealing with them and it.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Character Analysis]
1128 words (3.2 pages)
- Role of the Characters in The Glass Menagerie All of the characters in The Glass Menagerie have specific symbols in the play representing themselves. Some of the symbols for Tom are the Merchant Marine and the magician’s nailed coffin, while Amanda’s are the yellow dress and her membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution and some of Laura’s are the unicorn and blue roses. Tennessee Williams play has a simple face but the meanings behind the countless and increasingly complex symbols make the play enjoyable the tenth time read.... [tags: Papers]
651 words (1.9 pages)
- Motherhood in The Glass Menagerie and A Raisin in the Sun I have read the two plays, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams and "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hansberry, both of have a big impact on me. The two plays circle around the family values that convey the character of motherhood where mothers have to have a responsibility to raise, to provide their best and to sacrifice for their children. In these two plays, even expressing differently, mothers all show love to their children; they all want their children to have a happy life.... [tags: Papers]
756 words (2.2 pages)