Southern Womanhood in Modern World in The Glass Menagerie

Amanda is a southern woman. She is always conscious of the old cultural and social privileges of the south. When she was in her youth, she was liked by many gentleman callers. Even some of the rich gentleman callers came to pay courtship to her. Her early youth was thus romantic to the in-depth satisfaction of her.


Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)

She was proud to keep so much hold on all those rich and handsome gentleman callers. She was all the time under the impression that she is a very embodiment of beauty and charm. Her life in the past was marked by countless choice. Her manners and attitudes were refined and elegant. She had a firm belief in the religious exhortation.

A woman with such beliefs and assumptions happened to marry a man who was exceedingly handsome. After her marriage she had been living in the urban world. Her life in the urban tenement gradually became difficult. Earning was low. Her family had to live in a congested area. Her husband gradually displayed irresponsibility. He began to drink and smoke. Worst of all, he fell in love with long distance. After her husband left her, the sole responsibility fell on her shoulder. Amanda had to care for many things. Heavy burden of running family began to crush her. She had an onerous task of saving her family from every up and down after her husband left. To carry out all these tough duties, it is really difficult for a woman who is alone. Furthermore, Amanda had a physically crippled daughter to rear. She had a deviated and a normal son to care for. She tried her best to bring her son to the right track. But her son continued to smoke and drink. Her son Tom continued to show his original color despite the repeated efforts of Amanda to improve him.

On the one hand, she was frustrated because of her being deserted by her husband for a long time. On the other she was anxious about her almost lame daughter Laura. She expected her son to be progressive. But no progress happened at all. She felt suffocated at being confined in her tenement life. Her life was trapped in static and sterility. She desired change and progression from her children's future. But this desire remained fleeting and elusive. As a result her present life became very deceptive. She felt that life has cheated her. She felt deceived by the dream she had once entertained. She left no stone unturned in overcoming her torturous helplessness and frustration. But nothing happened as she expected. Consequently, she realized that she is trapped in the realm of disappointed predicament. She knew, at that time that the only remedy for her is nostalgia. She nostalgically longed for her past. She frequently remembered those days in her past when she was visited by more than a dozen of gentleman callers.

The Glass Menagerie Study Center

Appearance versus Reality in The Glass Menagerie

Nature of illusion in The Glass Menagerie

Dramatic Technique in The Glass Menagerie

Tom as a Representative of the 20th Century Man

Laura as a Romantic Superwoman in The Glass Menagerie

Tom as a Man of Imagination in The Glass Menagerie