Compare the Psychological Problems facing Tom and Laura Wingfield

Tom and Laura face the problem of unhappiness in their life. In this scene, Amanda, who is their mother, is portrayed as the cause of their unhappiness. Amanda is very demanding and this makes Tom to struggle hard in life in order to cope with her. His relationship with her sister Laura is one of the ways in which they share their emotions of unhappiness. Consequently, Laura does not get happiness from her mother. The strange reaction of Amanda, who is Laura’s mother, reveals how she feels denied. Amanda’s insistence that her daughter should stay in the house while Amanda does mysterious things makes Laura to be unhappy. Amanda’s upbringing of her daughter makes Laura not to get any freedom and thus bringing unhappiness in her life (Williams 7).

They both undergo the problems of financial hardships. Laura failed to acquire learning skills in the business college at Rubicam. She became physically ill and she could not continue with her studies. Despite that, her mother’s worries about her daughter’s hope in achieving a career contribute to her financial difficulties. Amanda hopes that Laura will one day get a husband who will provide her with financial security. Her mother tells her “stay fresh and pretty” (Williams 5), when she thought Laura was expecting men visitors. Amanda has a job but the whole family depends on Tom’s salary. On the other hand, Tom has a difficult position in their family. He is tired of working in a shoe warehouse that pays him little money. The money is not enough to cater for their family needs such as food and electricity bill.

They both want to separate themselves from their family because of frustration. Tom encounters the problem of job frustration because he needs to work and support both Amanda and Laura. He works at a shoe warehouse and the work becomes too much for him thus he escapes to movies, alcohol and smoking as it can be seen when his mother tells him, “go to the movies” (Williams 35). However, he loves his mother and his sister thus struggles to work in order to support them because their father left them. He tries to find a way of escaping from home because he feels that he would not make any change in life if he keeps staying their. Consequently, Laura is frustrated with life because she feels she does not fit with people thus separates herself from people because of her physical defect. She even left school because of being a cripple for she thought that her friends did not like her.

Laura is filled with troubles and worries. She wonders about the problems she encounters in her life. In order to escape from insecurities and uncertainties, she turns to collect broken glasses. The broken glasses symbolize the miserable life that she undergoes. They reveal her delicate character and lack of self-confidence. She feels insecure and shies from her family members. When Amanda and Tom started quarreling, she went to her bedroom and kept herself busy until they stopped arguing. Amanda was arguing with his son about smoking “those cigarettes” (Williams 27) and this made Laura worried and she left them. In addition, she drops from the college because of shyness and humiliation from the public.

Laura’s physical deformity of being a cripple makes her life to appear unique and delicate. She has a problem with her legs, a defect that occurred when she was young. She walks slowly with a great effort because one of her legs is shorter than the other and her life is very delicate. Laura’s care for her glass menagerie is a symbol of her delicate life. She fears to interact with people because of her situation but instead she engages with the tiny animals. She collects the tiny animals and puts them in a glass and this symbolizes how she is locked completely in their home. She collects the animals and keeps them in a little shelf as it can be seen when her brother mentions “those tiny animals” (Williams 32). Her life is not different from those tiny animals kept in the shelf because of her situation. This is because she only depends on her mother and brother for financial help.

Laura’s lack of self-confidence makes her life so miserable. She feels that everyone dislikes her. She creates a lot of negative thoughts and emotions about herself. She perceives herself as unimportant and an unpopular person before the eyes of her peers. However, she only loves her brother because he understands her unique characters. She sits home with her tiny animals while everyone is trying to make differences in their lives as Tom says about her, “she lives her own world” (Williams 43). Tom is different from Laura because he sneaks out at night to enjoy life with his friends in order to forget his problems. After his stressing job, he goes to watch movies and drink alcohol with his friends, something that her mother dislikes.






Works Cited

Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie. San Antonio, TX: Heinemann, 1996. Print.

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