The Glass Menagerie
She often talked about her popularity in the past, and how “she was visited one Sunday in Blue Mountain by seventeen gentleman callers. ” Figuratively, she trapped her two children, Tom and Laura in the mirror of her own judgement. Their father abandoned the family and was never heard from again. In this article, Levy points out how Amanda was constantly making comments about how her son, Tom would end up just like his father, she “insists that his desire to leave home is simply a manifestation of selfishness, and further proof that he will end up as faithless and irresponsible as his father.
The irony of that remark is that she still had the photograph of their father hanging on the wall in the living room, and she still wore her wedding band dispite her obvious hatred toward her him. Amanda never thought that maybe she was the reason that Tom never wanted to be around. Tom even explains to his mother, “It seems unimportant to you, what I’m doing—what I want to do. ” (3). He tried to explain to his mother that the things that were important to him would not matter to her.. Laura, Amandas daughter was very shy.
She considered herself “crippled,” due to a slight inequality in the length of her legs. Her mother almost enabled her to feel crippled because she made her feel even more self-conscious about herself, and never spoke on positive notes. One day, Amanda instructed Laura to stand in front of a mirror after helping groom and dress her. “Now look at yourself, young lady. This is the prettiest you will ever be! I’ve got to fix myself now! ” (1). This is an example of how she made her daughter feel insecure, while still proving that she is all about herself.
Laura felt inferior to her mother, she even stated, “ Im just not popular like you were in Blue Mountain. ” Amanda tried to convince Tom to invite one of his fellow co-workers home to act as a gentleman caller for Laura. Tom does invite a man by the name of Jim to the house for dinner. Jim, knows nothing about being a gentleman caller, and Tom has no intent on him being that. Amanda and Laura however, think that Tom has set everything up. Laura remembered Jim from school.
Eventually, despite how nervous Laura was, they engaged in conversation. Jim made Laura feel very good about herself. Jim tells Laura she is like blue roses because she is one of a kind. He giave her some confidence that she was not use to. They danced briefly, and bumped into her collection of glass animals. Her favorite glass animal broke, it was her unicorn. The horn broke off, but Laura is not sad. She tells Jim, “ The horn was removed to make him feel less—freakish! ” (4). Laura gives Jim the unicorn as a souvenir.
She wanted Jim to know that he did something for her that meant a lot, he boosted her confidence. These gestures are very significant, it almost suggests that she released herself of any negative self-consciousness. Laura kept her collection of glass animals because they are fragile, almost as though that is how she wished people would treat her. Laura’s defect made her even more volunerable. Tom, on the other hand, was as volnurable to insecurity as Laura. Tom joined the Merchant Marines and left his family, like his father did.
The ultimate cause of his restless movement is the fear of finding himself trapped on the wrong side of the mirror again, enclosed in an intimacy founded on love. ” (3). Although Tom’s need for companionship was great, his need for lonliness was greater, for he learned to only depend on the sense of his own worth. He thought of Laura very often, but was never back in contact. I like the article I read. It really explored the significance of self-confidence, and how Amanda directly affected both of her children in a negative way.
It proved that Laura’s glass collection was a symbol to show the fragility of human life. This article pulled many quotes from the play, which I found helpful because when I originally read the play skimmed over some important information, and this article made me more aware of the important and significant parts of the play, as well as the symbols. The only thing I do not completely agree with in this article is the emphasis that Jim was selfish himself. My interpretation of Jim is that although he did have a girlfriend, the things he said to Laura did make her feel stronger, and have more faith in herself.