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Some critics say that Amanda (from The Glass Menagerie) is trying to relive her youth. How far do you agree with this comment?

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Introduction

Elaine Cox. Revision Essay Questions. Some critics say that Amanda is trying to relive her youth. How far do you agree with this comment? After reading The Glass Menagerie I would tend to agree with this comment for a number of reasons that I shall discuss in this essay, but do not agree with it completely, and feel there are a number of significant reasons as to why Amanda behaves in the way she does, and I plan to discuss this too. To begin with, throughout the play, Amanda constantly talks about the abundance of gentlemen callers she used to receive in her youth. This annoys her son and, I would suggest, embarrasses her daughter who has never has a gentleman caller. I do not think she talks about these men in order to bring out these feelings in her children, and may indeed be as a way of 'returning to' her youth by remembering the way she acted in her past. ...read more.

Middle

Within this scene, Amanda's behaviour as well as her appearance does appear to be very immature for age. She is constantly jumping around, 'baptizing herself' with lemonade that she spills in her girlishness, and cooing over Jim constantly, almost to the point where he is embarrasses by her actions. Returning to the idea that Amanda is trying to relive her youth through her daughter, I would suggest that, indeed, she is doing well in this when Jim comes around for she indeed demands more of his attention in the dining scene than Laura. Amanda does not seem, however, ready to let Laura get on with her own life and wants her daughter to do exactly as she did when she was young; to marry and settle down. Amanda feels that unless her daughter does this she will always be living off the 'grudging patronage' of others. I would therefore argue that Amanda is indeed trying to relive parts of her life through her daughter, even to the point of desperation for her to get married, even though her own marriage ended in her husband abandoning her and their children. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there are significant points that suggest Amanda is trying to relive her youth, which I feel have not been ignore, such as her flirtatious behaviour with Jim, wearing her teenage dresses, and constantly talking about her past. I would however argue, on the grounds of the points I have made, that Amanda is not trying to relive her youth. She is actually reliving her good times, in a time of hardship in her life, and trying to find a way of communicating with her children. Consequently I do not agree with the comment that 'Amanda is trying to relive her youth' as I feel the underlying reasons are far more important in understanding why she appears to be trying to relive her youth, rather than the simple fact that she behaves immaturely for her age, and that her unhappiness, loneliness and misunderstanding of her children are the main factors that led to her behaviour, rather than a simple desire to return to her youth. 1 ...read more.

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