• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Amanda is selfish and heartless' How far do you agree with this statement in the light of your reading so far.

Extracts from this document...


'Amanda is selfish and heartless' How far do you agree with this statement in the light of your reading so far. Once a Southern belle who claims she was the darling of her small town's social scene, Amanda Wingfield is now an abandoned wife and single mother living in a small apartment in St. Louis. She dreams of her past and of her daughter's future, but seems unwilling to recognize certain harsh realities of the present. She is a loving mother, but her demands can make life difficult for Laura and unbearable for Tom. The first scene opens with the obviously strained relationship between Amanda and her son Tom. She is overbearing and tedious, 'Honey, don't push with your fingers.' There is nothing selfish or heartless in her first speech where she demands Tom chew his food properly, though this attachment inevitably leads to many bitter arguments. Though in this scene how Tom chews his food seems no big deal it represents how Amanda selfishly controls her children's lives, her major weakness is she can't let them live their own lives because of her fear of Tom becoming a drunk, leaving home and not being around to support his family. ...read more.


So instead of being a proper parent and giving encouragement to her children to accomplish great things she keeps referring to her past to make herself feel better and needing her children's compliments to satisfy her ego. Amanda's heartlessness is demonstrated vividly in scene two, 'she draws a long breath and takes out the handkerchief again.' Her melodramatic and over-dramatisation of everything that she does leaves Laura shaking and afraid of her own mother. This demonstrates how Amanda has selfishly made herself unapproachable to her own children, the wide gulf between mother and daughter makes the audience realise that Laura's lack of confidence and total lack of social skills are because Amanda is too wrapped up in her own world to be a proper mother. Amanda has not given her crippled daughter the extra love and support that she would need to go out and face the world; a girl in Laura's position would need to be nurtured carefully and prepared for all the hardships life would inevitably throw at her; Amanda has done none of these things for Laura; 'we won't have a business career- we've given that up because it gave us nervous indigestion! ...read more.


Amanda is constantly reminiscing about the past and especially about her long-gone husband. This constant reminder about the father that left them and never looked back is both selfish and heartless. 'Amanda's hair is in metal curlers and she wears a very old bathrobe, much too large for her slight figure, a relic of the faithless Mr Wingfield.' Memories of their father only set the children back further; though Amanda herself can't move on she is selfishly not letting them move on either; keeping them with her in her illusion of the past makes Laura retreat further into her own world and makes Tom long for freedom even more. Amanda does not mean to be heartless but her selfishness is what brings about the heartlessness. This selfish controlling is shown in her deal with Tom; 'I mean that as soon as Laura has got somebody to take care of her, married, a home of her own, independent - why, then you'll be free to go wherever you please, but until that time you've got to look out for your sister.' This impossible ultimatum proves that the selfish and heartless Amanda does not want her own daughter to be her problem; she is effectively as bad or even worse than their father. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Glass Menagerie section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Glass Menagerie essays

  1. Student Task 1 - Reading and the Study of Texts - The Getting of ...

    the odd exception - "Mother should see that she did know how to give up something she cared for, and was not as selfish as she was supposed to be". She enjoyed being the centre of attention, and was dubbed by Sarah as being 'a bit too clever' (pg 16).

  2. Relationships in The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams.

    Comparing how she reacted when a piece of her glass was broken earlier in the play we can see that Jim is having a good effect on her. "...ought to-kiss you, Laura!" Jim kisses Laura. He is being extremely irresponsible here and not thinking of the consequences of his actions at all!

  1. Important Symbols and Themes of The Glass Menagerie

    "I go to the movies because- I like adventure. Adventure is something I don't have much of at work, so I go to the movies" (p. 415). Amanda seeks for an escape from her own empty life. She had high hopes of marrying a wealthy man but instead, she settled for a telephone man who eventually abandons her and the kids.

  2. How far is it possible to feel sympathy for Laura and not Hedda?

    So he wants Bertha to be his child as she will make him live on as a part of her. Through every argument that takes place between Laura and the captain, Laura takes a very clever approach to it and out wits him every time, as she is extremely persuasive.

  1. The Day My Life Stopped

    up kissing, everyone stares, and boasts that they knew Laura and Jason would end up doing something like that, even though two weeks before that, they were saying how Natalie and Jason were going to be together forever. As the night was coming to an end, everyone was leaving, the

  2. Global organisation Laura Ashley Holdings plc has suffered differing fortunes since it was founded ...

    Ann Iverson was dismissed in 1997, however, mainly due to continuing problems in the US and the organisation's image (Keynotes, 1997). Each of the changes mentioned came about from the organisation's particular strengths (as identified) at the time. For example, whilst such things as restructuring and shop closures were happening,

  1. A Phenomenon of Theoretical States: Connecting Crane and Rilke to Tennessee Williams' The Glass ...

    It is a "magic" logic (Williams, Menagerie 1521), Tom tells us, an inverse relationship of the real to the unreal. This is an important element in a phenomenological approach to literary criticism � identification of a critical consciousness within a work, criticism of that consciousness with an eye toward reducing

  2. How does Tennessee Williams create sympathy for Tom, both as an individual, and as ...

    Tom as the narrator tells the audience that the most realistic character in the play is Jim, who is the gentleman caller for Laura but only appears in the last scenes. Tom describes him as "emissary from a world of reality that we somehow set apart from".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work