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Characters in Glass Menagerie

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The characters could be entertaining, spiteful or even painfully confusing but understanding their characters, circumstances, fears and longings, can make readers understand why they act and talk as they do. In this paper, an in-depth study of the three main characters will be done and an attempt to explain the reasons for their words and actions will be undertaken in the hope that readers will come to understand further the motives of the characters or understand the characters themselves and a little background of the author will be included to connect him to his characters. Amanda Wingfield is a beautiful woman who had a number of suitors during her younger days. She seems to be greatly indulged with her past, oftentimes speaking about her glory days (deafed.net) to her children which made her son, Tom, quite tired about it as reflected in his conversation with his sister, Laura. When their mother told them about her suitors when she was young, Tom mentioned he knew what was coming but his sister told him to let their mother tell her story anyway and Tom answered, Again? (Williams, 754). Understandably, every person would want to talk about the good old days. They somehow help ease the pains of living a bitter present (Debusscher). For Amanda, she seems to go back to her past (Cummings), refusing to believe or accept the fact that she was not receiving suitors for her only daughter who was already growing old. She perhaps wanted to think that there is no reason at all for her daughter not to receive gentleman callers because she received so many of them during her youth. It would be an insult to a mother for her daughter not to have any suitors especially to a woman who seems to take pride in her beauty. For her, the implication that her daughter is not beautiful enough to attract suitors is simply unacceptable. In addition to a mother’s pride, Amanda’s desire to see her daughter married to a responsible man seems to make her very anxious about the young maiden’s having no boyfriend. She is concerned about the health conditions of her daughter and she probably was already considering her future if she remained unmarried. She wanted her daughter to be married very soon and she wanted that very badly because she knows it would only be a responsible husband who could assure her daughter of a good future. She knows how it is to be a helpless individual, unable to provide even for the basic needs of the family. That is why, even though they are not really the affluent kind of family, Amanda did her best to put her daughter in college for her to have something to lean back on during difficult times, for her to become independent in the future. However, the weak character of Laura (which will be discussed in detail later) did not make Amanda’s wishes come to pass. To some, Amanda may seem to be a manipulative mother who is trying to let her children do things which she was not able to do when she was young. Nevertheless, on another angle, she is seen as a mother who wants only the best for her children. With her husband leaving her alone to take care of the children, Amanda has experienced grievous days and perhaps, she was just trying to keep her children away from such unfavorable circumstances. Considering that Amanda asked her son to look for a responsible caller for Laura, someone who did not drink liquor but was an opposite of her own husband, shows that she indeed did not