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'Explore the ways in which Tennessee Williams presents the character of Amanda in scenes 1 and 2.'

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Introduction

'Explore the ways in which Tennessee Williams presents the character of Amanda in scenes 1 and 2.' In order to explore the character of Amanda within these early scenes, we need to explore the methods Williams uses to convey her personality and in specific, his use of her language, including the visual elements of her speech, the other characters and what they say and reflect of her, and also via the stage directions and what they reveal to us of her behaviour and characteristics. By breaking down her actions into their basic forms, we can gain a better insight into what they illustrate, both in terms of their relevance to that particular conversation of scene. Though also through their general development, for example do we see themes or trends within her actions? Do these themes develop or evolve as the storyline progresses, and what does this tell us of Amanda's character? From the very outset of the dialogue, we become aware of Amanda's very commanding nature, the way she tells Tom how he should eat 'chew - chew!' she tells him. Yet she goes further suggesting that 'Animals have sections of their stomachs which enable them to digest food without mastication,' she imposes her views upon her children suggesting to the audience that she feels she knows best. However as the scene progresses we see more of the same style of behaviour, but much more intertwined with a melodramatic theme. ...read more.

Middle

So we can conclude that Amanda not only lives in the past, but her character also attempts to re live the events via imposing her past upon her children, and including them in her delusion. In scene one, we also see how she overbears upon both her children however she treats them differently as well. The way she interacts with Tom, has an air of arrogance and she patronises him considerably, yet affection is evident with this 'Honey, don't push with your fingers.' Yet with Laura she remains commanding but treats her more with ignorance, as we have explored. Yet there is considerable irony with this behaviour, as she appears to the audience as being full of exclamation and very encapsulating, yet also childlike at times with phrases such as 'It can't be true!' It seems wrong for her to be so commanding when the nature of her speech is so youthful; she lacks the tone of authority for the statements she conveys. Also in relation to this, we see that Amanda becomes far more dramatic when she is challenged, her overreaction is her response to the reality that her children try to convey to her, 'there must have been a tornado!' she states to Laura. By intentionally using her speech in this manner, Williams' uses the over dramatic lines of speech, to reflect Amanda's reluctance to face reality. This is extended in scene two, 'Deception? Decepton?' she states and the stage directions also state 'a bit of acting' as she enters, she is angry because Laura hasn't been attending her course at the business college, but she voices this through very dramatic actions and speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

but the irony is he is no longer there, so really the ideal of charm being a consolation is a delusion. Added to the fact that she says that 'Girls that aren't cut out for business careers usually wind up married to some nice man' as she supposedly did. Followed by the physical movement of 'crossing to the photograph' of her husband, we see that Williams uses dramatic mocking irony to convey Amanda's own self-deception as well. This action of Amanda to impose a reflection of herself upon the audience is likely to be a deliberate function on Williams part, as it may be attempt to reveal why Amanda is so obsessed with imposing upon her children, as she feels perhaps unhappy with her own situation and try's to make amends for her misfortune through the lives of her children. In essence this is at the core of Amanda's character, conveyed by Williams through the use of both language and visual elements. He presents her as being an animated, yet perhaps lost character, someone who appears to the audience as perhaps eccentric yet with deep explanations for such a style of behaviour. Her delusional self deceived side is portrayed very effectively through the use of the other characters as well as her own nostalgic qualities, displayed through the use of stage direction. Williams also leads us to question her actions, making presumptions as to why she acts in such a manner, actively involving the audience is a method of presentation which he uses very effectively. Neena Sandhu 1202 1 ...read more.

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