Do you argue that Amanda is presented as a matriachal figure in scene 5 of The Glass Menagerie?How is this shown through the language, dramatic devices and her interaction with others?

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Matriarchal" is not a term I would use to describe Amanda in any scene of The Glass Menagerie. She certainly tries to dominate and rule the lives of her children, but she does so with a shrill insecurity that is not characteristic of a true matriarch.

Amanda is a single mother who has been abandoned by her husband and left, in almost poverty, to care for her two grown children. She is then, by default, the primary caregiver for her offspring, but to call her a matriarch is to elevate her position more than what is warranted. As a mother, she is obsessively concerned about her children, overbearing even, and her attitude is more nervous and frightened than sensitive and sensible.

In scene 5, Amanda learns that Tom has found the long-sought-after "gentleman caller" for her daughter, Laura. This man, Amanda hopes, will save her daughter from the sad and needy life of a "bird-like" spinster. She learns from Tom all she can about the character of the man who is about to arrive the very next evening. She then calls Laura out to the fire escape so that Laura can make a wish on "A little silver slipper of a moon." A wish forĀ "Happiness! Good fortune!"

Amanda is a mother, yes. A worried, disappointed, meddling mother. But matriarchal? Not really.

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The Glass Menagerie

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