Blanche Dubois Compared to Amanda Wingfield

December 29, 2016 General Studies

In today??™s socioeconomic world, there is no longer room for slacking off and failure. People are seen as individuals who earn their social status and there is much pressure to succeed. In the plays, ???The Glass Menagerie??? and ???A Streetcar Named Desire??? both written by Tennessee Williams, there are two main characters who are not capable of living in the present and have a difficult time facing reality. Amanda Wingfield, the mother from ???The Glass Menagerie??? and Blanche DuBois, Stella??™s sister in ???A Streetcar Named Desire??? have many similar characteristics and life styles that are discovered throughout each play. Each woman played an important role in her life, affecting everybody she come encounter with, starting with the earlier years when they women were ???southern belles???. In order for these two characters to deal with the complications in their lives they resort to living in their own fantasy worlds of deception and lies.
The mother of Tom and Laura, Amanda Wingfield is a middle-aged southern belle whose husband has abandoned her in her earlier year. Amanda constantly reminisces about the past years with her husband and is always nagging her children. She depends completely on her son Tom for financial support and also blames him for her daughter Laura??™s disability. Amanda often thinks back to a specific day in the past where she states that she received sixteen gentlemen callers. In the play, there is no evidence that this is actually true, but it is however evident that Amanda has come to believe it in her fantasy world. Amanda??™s relationship with Laura is also a lie, Amanda refuses to come to the realization that her daughter is crippled, she instead says that she is handicap and only has a hardly noticeable defect. Amanda is constantly worrying about Laura??™s future and pushing her to find a man of her own to have a future with. Amanda puts the pressure on Tom to find a man for Laura and when he finally does, Amanda expects way too much out of the first night meeting him.
Blanche DuBois is an oversensitive, helpless, former southern belle who moves from her home town after a rough patch, to live with her younger sister Stella and her husband Stanley. A main element in finding out who Blanche really is, is discovering her real reasons for moving to New Orleans to live with her sister. After the death of her husband, every aspect of her life slowly started to fall apart. She had a huge emptiness in her life to fill and she found this comfort by satisfying her sexual desires. She found that sleeping with men started to make her feel less unhappy and soon began sleeping with any man that agreed to it. This type of behavior is not acceptable in today??™s society and like Amanda; Blanche too is living in the past dwelling on her husband??™s death.
Blanche??™s flirtatious and outgoing personality got her into even more trouble. In her earlier years, she was a high school teacher and her sexual ways got her mixed up with sleeping with one of her students. When the school found out she was immediately fired and her image in her home town of Laurel was completely destroyed, not to mention her reputation was ruined. When Blanche moved, she often went around flirting with guys looking for compliments, just like Amanda had done with her gentlemen callers. Blanche was insecure and needed the male role in her life to build up her self esteem and make her feel like a somebody. Like Amanda, she loves living in the idealistic world and making up things to live by in her fantasy world.
The two main characters, Amanda and Blanche are similar in the ways the conduct themselves and how they rely on other people to fill voids in their lives. They both rely heavily on men and are desperate to have their husbands back. Amanda and Blanche drive the people who are closest to them far away and make their lives more miserable for themselves and everyone around them. While these characters??™ minds are living in the past or fantasy world, the world around them is changing each day. Their failure to recognizing what is happening in their lives today explains how they are unstable people who cannot fend for themselves.


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