In Tennessee Williams’, “The Glass Menagerie” Amanda was a woman who liked to reminisce about the past in order to escape from reality. Amanda was not wicked but intensely flawed. Her failures were centrally responsible for the adversity and exaggerated style of her character. Certainly, she had the endurance and heroism that she was able to support her children when her husband was gone. In her old life, she was once a Southern Belle with a genteel manner who lived on Blue Mountain. This was a place where Amanda’s version of the good old days back when she was young and popular. Amanda was full of charm in conversation that she managed to have seventeen gentlemen caller in a single day. Amanda liked to talk to her children having seventeen gentlemen callers but ended up marrying a charming Irishman who worked for the telephone company. He traveled and left the family and the only reminder of him was his smiling photograph. Amanda turned the tragedy of her husband’s abandonment as a joke, “a telephone man who fell in love with long distances” (643). Amanda’s relationship with her children was illustrated by her failure in life and the exaggerated style of her character.
Amanda always put up a defensive front for others to view that hid the reality of her life. She painted a colorful picture for others to perceive. Amanda worked hard to make the apartment ready for her daughter’s gentleman caller. She talked of polishing the wedding silver, taking out the monogrammed table linen to be laundered, cleaning the windows and putting up fresh curtains. Amanda even went so far as to enhance Laura’s bosom with two powder puffs. She called it “gay deceiver”(662).
Amanda was affectionate and loving but demanding beyond reason. She was not in anyway cruel, in fact, very loving but her desires for her family became so unpleasant for her children. Amanda’s relationship with Tom was difficult with and often unreasonable. Although he was a grown man whose wages supported their family, she still would intervene with the affairs of his life. Amanda would instruct Tom how to chew his food by telling that “animals have secretions in their stomach which enable them to digest food without mastication, but human beings are supposed to chew their food before they swallow it down”(644). Tom goes to the movies as an escape from his ...
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...r Laura to have a gentleman caller was another failure. Jim was engaged and is to be married soon. Amanda was furious because the plan did not work out. She accused him of playing a practical joke on them, by intentionally bringing another woman’s fiancé’ to disgrace them. Amanda was obviously surprised, the evening had been expensive for the Wingfields, and her dreams for her daughter have been shattered.
Amanda was a woman who typically refuses to face reality that resulted in a lot of disappointments and frustrations. Looking back to the past with regrets only prevented her from moving on. She could have used her past experiences and learned from it. Although she is caring and loving, she should not have sacrificed the happiness of her children for her own selfish desires. Her fears had made her life and the lives of her children miserable. Had she learned to be patient, strong and accepting of what life has brought, she and her family could have had a more fulfilling life.
Williams, Tennessee. “The Glass Menagerie.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, and Robert Funk. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River; Prentice, 2003
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