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Amanda (The Glass Menagerie)

Uploaded by Nategrey on Aug 05, 2005

Amanda Wingfield is the eccentric Southern mother in Tennessee William’s drama The Glass Menagerie. Amanda is a relic of a bygone era. She lives in a fantasy world of her own creation where she is the Belle of a grand never ending Southern ball. Her children, Tom and Laura also retreat to their own respective worlds of make believe. Amanda doesn’t care to recognize the defects in her children, especially in Laura. While she repeatedly lauds her children that they must always be prepared for life to take them where they don’t want to go, she does nothing to keep Laura in school. Perhaps it is because she is unable to break with the fantasy of her past where young woman waited to be courted by wealthy men. Amanda is unable, or unwilling to break with her fantasy of being superior and her children being superior until it’s too late for anyone to change.

Amanda withdraws from reality into fantasy whenever she needs to escape from whatever’s troubling her and she constantly reminisces about her life in the Mississippi Delta when she was a girl. Though Amanda acknowledges her situation and the situation of her family, which is poverty, she will never let go of her memory of the South. Whereas Tom retreats into literature and film, and Laura plays with her glass, Amanda retreats mentally and out loud back to her youth (Glass Menagerie). She recounts stories of balls and dances, church socials and gentleman callers. She needs to remind herself, and anyone who will listen, that she was once important and was courted by important people. Amanda’s recollections always come to an abrupt halt at one key point, when she met her husband. Through the entire play she always stops reminiscing when she comes to that time. Faced with the consequences of her poor choice of a husband while surrounded by so many promising suitors, her mind will not allow her to peruse her memories further because to include the failure of her marriage would destroy the images she is so fond of recalling and place blame for her situation on herself (Amanda Wingfield).

There is no distinction between Amanda’s fantasies and the world she lives in. To her, she is a Southern Belle who happens to live in less than suitable conditions...

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Uploaded by:   Nategrey

Date:   08/05/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,039 words)

Views:   3968

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