Nov 12, 2009
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Men and Woman have always varied in the ways they view life and the world. Of course many ideas and opinions are shared between the two, but the gender difference between them forces them to stand firm and unwavering on topics involving gender roles. In Tennessee Williams play “The Glass Menagerie” Amanda the self proclaimed head of household, matriarch of the Wingfield family had a firm opinion of how an ideal, prominent family should behave and appear. She was determined to have her children fit the social mold she had created in her mind. They were to be well groomed, well spoken, eager to please with a desire to prosper. Amanda focused her energy on molding her family to fit these ideals. Chasing after the life she missed and the life she never got to live. She believed that “The future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don’t plan for it”. (Williams, 303)
It is this belief that drives her. Amanda was not cruel or malicious in her attempts to conform her children. She was simply misguided by the gender rules that she herself had fallen victim to. The mold is not a one size fits all. She was so consumed with obtaining her vision that it caused her to be blind and deaf to her children’s true needs and desires.
Amanda felt she had to save her daughter Laura from the possibility of becoming destitute like her “ little birdlike woman without any nest-eating the crust of humility all their life” (Williams 288-289). Marriage for Laura was the only option since she was not prepared to occupy a position. A husband in Amanda’s eyes would provide security for her daughter. She would tell her daughter “stay pretty and fresh” (Williams 285) because “all pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap and men expect them to be”. (Williams 306) Amanda would speak of woman needing “a nimble wit and a tongue to meet all occasions”...