The Glass Menagerie Questions and Answers
by Tennessee Williams

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Compare and contrast Tom and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie.

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One distinct comparison between Tom and Amanda lies in how both are unhappy with the present. A point of contrast would be in how they address it.

It is clear that Tom and Amanda don't share much respect for one another by the end of the drama.  Perhaps this is because they are so similar to one another.  Both of them are really unhappy with their lives.  Tom is unhappy with the life he leads: "Look!—I’ve got no thing, no single thing...in my life here that I can call my own!"  His dissatisfaction extends to a job to which he would prefer "somebody picked up a crowbar and battered out my brains."  

Tom's unhappiness about his life is one of his primary connections to Amanda.  She recognizes that her dreams and aspirations have not materialized.  Instead, she lives a life where "Things have a way of turning out...

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