The play by William TennesseeWilliams iscenteredon a female character Amanda Wingfield and her two childrenTom and Laura. Amanda is not living with her husband, the husbandleft years ago. Amanda longs for a stable and well structured family.‘’She lives in the glory of the past and fantasy so much suchthat she lives the fantasy as a reality’’. (Domina).
She has a set of imaginaryideal things, and sometimes she hopes her children can live thatlife.
Amanda, through her actions inthe play she comes across as a selfish and manipulative character,who uses her maternal power to control and dictate to her childrenhow they should live.
This is clearly portrayed whenshe tells her daughter Laura to find a ‘‘suitable husband whowill not drink excessively, who will just be happy with a good careerand a family, the opposite of her husband’’ (Domina).This is being manipulative and selfish because she does not careabout the plans of her daughter whether she wanted to get married ornot, or whether the husband her daughter would like would really fither description of her mum’s ‘’ideal husband’’.Amandareally want to make her children believe that their father was not agood husband, through her sentiments. This is being selfish andmanipulative, her children are able to reason and decide whethertheir father is good or not.
When Tom comes home with malefriends, though her mother wishes her sister gets a man to marry her,she behaves and dresses in away to attract the male guest, despiteher age. This is being selfish acting the age of her daughter, yetshe had her time in the past to do all the teasing acts. As a goodmother she ought to give her daughter the chance to catch theattention of the male guest.
Amanda helps her daughter todress up, and tells her to look into the mirror, she admits herdaughter is smart though she goes ahead to say that that is the besther daughter will ever look. Since she is the mother and is aware ofher power as a mother over children, she uses this position to tellthem anything she wants. She is not happy about her daughter youthfulbeauty, she is jealous of her daughter. That is the reason she tellsher“ this is the best you will ever look“. (JeffreyW. Hunter & Deborah A. Schmitt 1999).This confirms the fact that she is selfish.
Amanda judges her childrennegatively so much such that at some point, her daughter Laura tellsher mother that she was not as popular as her when she was in at the‘Blue Mountain’. Laura has succeeded in making her daughter feelemotionally crippled as well. Amanda tells her son that he might growto be like his father, and tries to tell him how to live, but her sonrebels against her. All this are acts of selfishness from Amanda,trying to impose her ideal thinking to her children instead ofletting them be independent. Since she is aware of her position overthem she uses this as tool of control. She is being selfish. As amother making her daughter feel unworthy is wrong and selfish, to apoint where“ Laura cannot socialize with other people because shehas repeatedly been told and made to believe by her mother she is notworth“. (Domina).
The writer has clearlyportrayed Amanda as a selfish character throughout the play who usesher position to control everyone around her, and want to better thanevery person including her children. Amanda finds fault in everyperson in her life, her physically crippled daughter, son and thehusband and has an imaginary way se expect them to be living. Herselfish acts such as seeing herself as better that everyone else, hasbeen used by the play writer to bring out Amanda’s selfishcharacter.
Domina, L.M. "Anoverview of TheGlass Menagerie." Dramafor Students. Detroit:Gale. LiteratureResource Center.Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
Jeffrey W. Hunter and DeborahA. Schmitt.Vol. 111. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. From LiteratureResource Center.