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Heroines Vacillating between illusion and reality in "The Glass Menagerie".

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Introduction

Heroines Vacillating between illusion and reality in The Glass Menagerie" Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie is an example of the woman who is vacillating between illusion and reality. She is obsessed with the past and its memories. This obsession leads her to recall her past days to stand as a shelter from the harsh reality that surrounds her. She cannot bear facing the new reality that encounters her family life. Being deserted by her husband, with neither a job nor money, she always retreats into her past to make life more bearable. "She is clinging frantically to another time and place" (Griffin 24). She recalls the memories of her past, especially the supreme moment when she received seventeen gentlemen callers, all loving and caring for their wives. For Amanda the past represents her youth, before time worked out its dark alchemy. ...read more.

Middle

Amanda : Don't say crippled! you know I never allow this word to be used!... Tom : Face the facts. She is. (scene two) Regardless of her lapses into earlier days, Amanda doesn't live totally in the past and its illusion. She insists on pushing her daughter Laura into the activities of normal life. She sends her to learn skills in order to succeed in obtaining a job that can support her in the future. Amanda, in facing reality, is aware that a girl must have a business to depend on herself, thus she is shocked when she discovers that Laura has dropped out of the business school. She faces her saying: "So what are we going to do the rest of our lives? ...read more.

Conclusion

During the course of the play, Amanda tries to find Laura a gentleman caller for fear of being a spinister, in a sign of her facing the reality. "... I know so well what becomes of unmarried women ...Little birdlike women without any nest-eating the crust of humility all their life." (scene two) She is trying to find her daughter some security. She redeems her life by finding romance for Laura. She tries to prepare her both physically and psychologically to meet Jim, the gentleman caller. She tries to make Laura accept the fact of being crippled. She asks her to develop her charm as she has some slight disadvantage. But finally Amanda's dreams of having a gentleman caller for Laura collapse. Now, she faces reality and asks Tom to go away and not to think about "a mother deserted [and] an unmarried sister who's crippled and has no job." ...read more.

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