Books and Movies Reviews

The Glass Menagerie: Parent Siblings Relationships

The relationship between the single parent Amanda Wingfield and her two children is one of the central concerns of The Glass Menagerie. The same importance is placed on the relationship between parents and children, starting with Henry and Lila Wingo and their three children, but also spreading to the parent-siblings relationships that generally affects everyone's personal life without any possibility of escaping positive or negative effects. The relationship between Amanda, once a Southern belle who was extremely courted by "gentlemen callers" as she refers to them, is now a single parent with two grown children, who appear to be the main cause of her general disappointment. On a closer look however, the two socially inapt and extremely sensitive children, Tom and Laura, are the result of the tyranny of their mother. Thus, as it shall be seen, the narcissistic and egocentric Amanda is the one who has instilled the negative self-consciousness in her own children, by her constant preoccupation with herself and her own past. Amanda actually projects her own youthful image in Laura and that of her deserting husband in her son Tom. She lives incarcerated in her own self and her own past, and is only apparently preoccupied with the future of her children. Her attitude as a mother explains the utter sensitivity and self-consciousness of her two children. Consequently, both of them are very different from the people around them, and unable to fit in society in any way: Tom is a poet, and although he works he fails to actually connect with his fellows, and Laura only befriends her glass menagerie, an obvious symbol of her extreme inner fragility. Thus, Amanda constantly reproaches Tom for his selfishness and his inaptitude as a man. It is evident here that in her attitude towards her son, Amanda unwittingly expresses her own frustration at having been abandoned by her husband: "Overcome Selfishness! Self, self, self is all …

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