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Hate, anger and envy in Scene 3 of 'The Glass Menagerie'

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Introduction

Michael Salway Hate, anger and envy in Scene 3 of 'The Glass Menagerie' Scene 3 begins with the screen legend : "You think I'm in love with Continental Shoemakers?" and Tom and Amanda's angry voices are bellowing out as Laura is stood looking panicked with clenched hands. This scene is an argument between Amanda and Tom about Amanda taking Tom's books back to the library. At first the two are quarelling but this escalates into a full-blown argument between Amanda and Tom. Amanda also confronts Tom about the fact that he visits the movies every night which is a blatant lie. Tom feels angry during this scene because he has nothing of his own in the apartment, even library books that he had checked out were returned without his consent. Amanda says that she will not have such filth as D.H. Lawrence in her house, and Tom interrupts to point out that he pays the rent on her house. ...read more.

Middle

The interruptions continue as Tom attempts to tell Amanda that there is something he really wants to do but explains it's not what he has to do, but before he can finish his explanation, she's interrupted him again to accuse him of doing things he's ashamed of. These accusations and interruptions show the anger that Amanda has to Tom's attitude and many of his actions. At the same time, Tom's tone suggests that he has a lot of anger and hate for Amanda as he does not want to listen to what she has to say and at times he can be abusive. Amanda explains that Tom has no right to jeopardise his job and their security by staying out so late, and this may suggest that Amanda is jealous of the success that Tom has had compared to her. Amanda thinks what Tom is doing is selfish behavior. ...read more.

Conclusion

Amanda stands stunned by the witch comment as she tells Tom that she won't speak to him until he's apologised to her. It is important to notice Laura's reaction to the fight between her mother and brother. Her "closed fists and panicked expression" reveal her tension and fear; she blames herself for being the cause of the problems in this fatherless home. She sees her failure to learn typing skills the reason that Amanda nags Tom about his responsibilities. Laura feels that she stands in the way of Tom pursuing his own interests. This scene shows how Amanda does not understand Tom. By the end of this scene, the reader realises how completely Amanda has failed to recognise her children as individuals or accept who they really are. She gives them no 'space' to breathe or grow freely. Her fear that Tom may desert her, like her husband, is also obvious; when Tom, in anger, tries to leave the house, Amanda physically restrains him and reminds him how much he hates his father's desertion. ...read more.

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