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Amanda Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie” Essay

The Character of Amanda Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie” supplies an example of a complex individual whose communication and actions convey a slightly irritating and lonesome mother. Scene IV of “The Glass Menagerie,” demonstrates these unique characteristics of Amanda. The scene takes place at about seven am the day after Tom and Amanda get into a major argument. From this scene we can reveal that Amanda’s obviously an overstressed and psychotic single care taker with insufficient mothering skills.

Amanda’s stubbornness and complexities always irritates her son Tom (the narrator of the play). Although Amanda is hysterically stuck in her past, she is a woman of great liveliness. Amanda’s past experience with her husband has made her bitter, and that bitterness is what motivates her to make her children become something. Her foolishness, stubbornness and selfishness makes her cruel to her children without the intention. Amanda, Tom, and Laura all fantasize and have their own individual ways of escaping from their realities. In this case, Amanda escapes reality by fantasizing about the gentleman callers she had in the past, however she denies the fact. She doesn’t tolerate her children’s fantasizing, which makes her blindly hypocritical.

Amanda loves her Children dearly and she wants them to be happy and have good fortune. Tennessee Williams illustrates Amanda’s attitude in scene IV, while she’s talking to Tom after he apologizes to her. She takes the blame so she can pamper him into finding Laura a gentleman caller. This makes Amanda seem very selfish because she uses Tom for her own desires. Amanda, expects Laura to fulfill the dreams Amanda once had for herself which rushes Laura into doing things she’s not prepared to do. Amanda has hope in her crippled, (that she refuses to admit) and shy daughter whom isn’t capable of fulfilling Amanda’s dream.

Amanda goes on to pasteurizing Tom about finding someone for Laura, yet small things like this irritate Tom and make him want to leave and never come back. This small scene gives the reader an image of Amanda and how she contributes to the play. Her attitude and her values shape the other characters as well. In retrospect it is understood that one of the main reasons Tom left in the end of the play was because of his mothers selfishness, her constant nagging, and the many desires Amanda had for her children that Tom didn’t want to put up with.


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