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Amanda Wingfield is the mother of Tom and Laura Wingfield. Whereas her son, Tom, wants to escape his family, and her daughter, Laura, lives in an imaginary world she's created, Amanda takes refuge in recounting tales of her storied girlhood in the Old South. She used to be a much sought after young lady with many prospects and a genteel life style... if you believe everything that she says. She frequently expounds to her children speeches like this:
"Well, in the South we had so many servants. Gone, gone, gone. All vestige of gracious living! Gone completely! I wasn’t prepared for what the future brought me. All of my gentlemen callers were sons of planters and so of course I assumed that I would be married to one and raise my family on a large piece of land with plenty of servants. But man proposes—and woman accepts the proposal! To vary that old, old saying a bit—I married no planter! I married a man who worked for the telephone company! . . . A telephone man who—fell in love with long-distance!"
Amanda uses these remembrances to force onto her children attempt to make their lives better- she nags Tom to bring home a fellow from work so he might marry Laura, for instance, and when he comes, Amanda has dressed into an old gone from the storied Southern youth. In other words, she lives in a fantasy world of her own creation, just like her children.
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