Comparing Parents In The Glass Menagerie By James Williams

845 Words4 Pages
My parents love to live vicariously through me, especially my mother, and while I understand their inclination to do this, it can make them a bit controlling of my actions. Williams exhibits in The Glass Menagerie the damaging effects of overbearing parents on the mental and emotional growth of their children. In the play, the mother inhibits the development of her children because she tries to control her children’s lives, which takes away the ability to become independent and focus on personal needs. Amanda treats Laura like a child and constantly makes decisions for her, and she and keeps him from enjoying his life.
Amanda belittles Laura’s self-ownership which makes Laura immature and helpless as an adult. When the subject of gentleman callers comes up, Amanda addresses Laura, saying, “How many do you suppose we’re going to entertain this afternoon? [...] [reappearing, airily] What? No one — not one? You must be joking! [Laura nervously echoes her laugh]” (Williams 18). Amanda is caught up in her dreams of marriage for Laura, made clear by her enthusiastic tone and body language, but Laura’s uncomfortable laugh shows how she is not amused by her mother’s aspirations. Amanda is only focused on what she wants for Laura, but she should really be concerned with what Laura wants for herself. In addition, Amanda cannot accept the fact that her daughter is not going to have any suitors; she denies reality and tries to bring Laura into her world of illusions. This irresponsible parenting causes Laura to become the childish adult that she is. When Amanda questions where Laura was going instead of business college, Laura explains that, “I went in the art museum and the bird houses at the Zoo. I visited the penguins every day! [...] Lately I’ve been spending most of my afternoons in the Jewel Box, that big glass house where they raise the tropical flowers” (21). Laura is twenty-three years old and she is getting excited about visiting attractions meant for kids. She would rather explore the Zoo, an art museum, or a greenhouse than attend college, exhibiting her immature and irresponsible mindset. This juvenile behavior is what leads to Laura’s helplessness. While on the fire escape, Amanda tells Laura to make a

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