StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Presentation of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie - Book Report/Review Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
The Presentation of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie

We react to her in a variety of ways. She is comic in her pretensions and her ignorant snobbery. We share Tom's frustrated impatience with her, and yet we see, rarely but significantly, moments of real understanding of the family's plight. It could even be said that there is even something heroic in her unending struggle against the conditions of her family's life.
Late in the play she accuses Tom of unreality: "You live in a dream, you manufacture illusions" (61), but this suggests an astonishing lack of self knowledge. For her the romantic southern past is the model for everything, and she frequently launches into nostalgic recollection of her youth. "One Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain - your mother received - seventeen - gentlemen callers!"(4). There were hardly enough chairs for them all. Their entertainment was "the art of conversation" (4), but what they talked about was "never anything coarse or common or vulgar" (5), for the southern past is a pattern for the moral life too in her imagination. It is the present that threatens to be coarse and common, and she sees herself as fighting heroically against the collapse into vulgarity. "Puritanical and narrow minded, she is appalling in her unreasonable devotion to the past" (Nelson, 104), writes the critic Benjamin Nelson, and Nancy Tischler notes that "The only way Amanda can live with the ugly reality is to retreat into her memories" (Tischler, 97). So Tom is always nagged to behave "graciously" - "Honey, don't push with your fingers. If you have to push with something, the thing to push with is a crust of bread."(3), to the extent that he cannot enjoy his food. When Tom cites instinct as a driving force in man, she rejects it as "something that people have got away from. It belongs to animals! Christian adults don't want it!"(21). She has confiscated his copy of "that hideous book by that insane Mr Lawrence" (13) which she describes as "filth". What Tom sees as the revelation of truth is what Amanda wishes to avoid. "Amanda prefers to believe not in Tom's favorite D.H.Lawrence, but in Cinderella and courtly love and Gone With the Wind, the novel to which she compares Bessie May Hopper's latest effort in The Homemaker's Companion"(Stein,62). Her instinct for fantasy makes her an embarrassingly natural saleswoman in Scene IV, which begins and ends with her trying to enroll subscribers to the magazine. She slips with ease into what seems a caricature of sales patter: "You're a Christian martyr, yes, that's what you are, a Christian martyr!... [Your subscription] expires with the next issue, honey! -just when that wonderful new serial by Bessie May Hopper is getting off to such an exciting start. Oh, honey, it's something that you can't miss" (12). No wonder Ida discovers that her cakes are burning.
Tom sees the absurdity of all this, and that it is fantasy in his mother's mind which bears very little relationship to the reality of their life in a two-roomed apartment in the poverty-stricken 1930s. While Amanda is insisting on the niceties of manners, Tom notes that "In Spain there was Guernica" (2). As she nags him to comb his hair, Tom is reading the paper with "Enormous caption 'Franco Triumphs'."(24). And Tom is aware that there will be plenty of "adventure" soon in the lives of urban Americans. It is "Suspended in the mists over Berchtesgaden caught in ...Show more

Summary

Much of the power of Tennessee Williams' first great success The Glass Menagerie lies in the subtle, profound and sensitive presentation of insoluble human problems. Tom longs to escape from the drudgery of the shoe warehouse (much of the material in the play comes from Williams's own life)…
Author : qgulgowski
The Presentation of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"The Presentation of Amanda in The Glass Menagerie"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

The Glass Ceiling: Causes and Solutions
There is no doubt that women are beneficial for companies, therefore the issue of the glass ceiling is an important one. Saxena et al. (2009) found that having mixed gender boards is beneficial for companies, as companies who have women on their board of directors have a much higher return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital than boards that have only men on their boards.
21 pages (5250 words) Book Report/Review
Tennesse Williams The Glass Menagerie
This thesis states that the play is realistic at retelling the narrative accounts of the tragedies but the characters are at fault for their unrealistic goals. Williams' original play was written with a thrust stage in mind. A thrust stage is a theater stage that extends out into the audience's part of a theater and has seats on all three sides.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
The Presentation Of Female Power In Literature
Though there are many female characters in this novel, the center of attraction is the protagonist and narrator, Celie, who is a fourteen year old uneducated black girl, who is impregnated twice by her stepfather Alphonso, and who steals away her children.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
The Glass Menagerie College Book Report/Review
When their dreams were shattered into pieces, both mother and daughter recoiled to their own shells to lick their own wounds while the son completed his own escapism by leaving. The Glass Menagerie is the first dramatic play in the tragedy genre of Tennessee Williams that achieved resounding success.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
The Glass Menagerie Book Report/Review
Psychoanalytic reading of the text which has developed into a rich and heterogeneous interpretive tradition has a major role in the interpretation of the work by Williams. "Psychoanalytic criticism adopts the methods of 'reading' employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
Moreover, they are not raised to be simple housewives but to be prim and proper. The play revolves around Amanda Wingfield, one who has been abandoned by her husband. The play depicts the dependency of women on men and the seemingly unjust and segregated roles of men and women.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
The Symbolisms in the Glass Menagerie
At the beginning of the play, Tom narrates "I have a poet's weakness for symbols" (292; sc.1) signifying the major role of symbols in the play. In Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," symbols are used to stand for illusion as escape from the gloomy reality of the lives of the Wingfield family.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
The Glass Menagerie and The House of Yes
Amanda Wingfield, the mother of Laura and Tom who were two adult children. The 'House of Yes' by playwright Wendy Macleod is an obsidian - black comedy, that unfurls around the Pascals for whom time stood still at Kennedy's assassination. In 1990, this play was premiered at 'The Magic Theater' with a cast comprising of two male characters and three female characters.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Japan through the looking glass by Alan Macfarlane
'Japan through the Looking Glass' is especially important since it addresses as well as provides answers for the questions and doubts and vague ideas about the culture and civilization of Japan. Alan Macfarlane in his book has described the country of Japan to be an 'enchanted' world.
15 pages (3750 words) Book Report/Review
Global Political Economy Outline & Presentation
The author identifies a number of mutually dependent characteristics that stakeholders should change to enable the initiation of reforms. The system is a centralized planning, implemented administratively through the issuing of detailed and extensive coordinating
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation