Tennessee Williams’ play, The Glass Menagerie, depicts the Wingfield family in a naturalistic viewpoint that highlights the importance of a man in the life of a woman. Without a husband in the play, Amanda’s son Tom is rendered as “the man of the house.” Williams attributes the monetary stability of the Wingfields entirely to Tom. Williams stresses the necessity of a working man through Tom so that women and children can be financially stable. As a naturalist, Tennessee Williams illustrates the characters’ reactions to various events and circumstances in accordance with man’s natural instincts of survival. Williams reveals Amanda in this approach, and he portrays naturalistic tendencies in her personality and character, her relationship with her son, and her connection with her hopeless daughter, Laura. Amanda is trying to survive and raise her children without a husband to support her economically.
Without a husband to support her, Amanda tries to raise her children like upper class children. Unlike Amanda, Carrie Meeber, the protagonist of a naturalist novel Sister Carrie, starts out very poor, and after meeting two significant men, Drouet and Hurstwood, Carrie’s morals decline, but her finances increase exponentially. Amanda’s assets increase while she is with her husband, but when he abandons her, she struggles economically. Without a man like Tom to help her, Amanda and Laura would be hopeless. Following the standards of naturalism, Amanda reacts accordingly, and teaches her children to behave like members of the upper class. She strictly enforces proper manners; the importance of a well-rounded education, and the décor in her home is simulating value. In her regard, upper class members are often treated better, and she ...
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...o have an employed man in her life. Amanda served as a perfect model to exemplify this belief, and the way that Williams’ makes use of naturalistic themes in his play. He proves that without a strong man in the house to support Amanda and Laura, the women would not survive. While Amanda tries to raise her children without a husband, she exhibits many naturalist mannerisms. Williams’ reveals examples of Charles Darwin’s theories of “survival of the fittest”, and of natural selection through Amanda, and her interactions with her son, her daughter, and her character and disposition. Williams’ also demonstrates the naturalistic principle that character traits and personalities are hereditary. Tom Wingfield was the main provider for the family, and when he followed his father’s footsteps and abandoned Laura and Amanda, the women were left unaided and hopeless.
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