In The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, how does the family’s social status affect the choices each individual makes? Considering the end of the play, what can we state about the role economic forces play in the lives of individuals?

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The Wingfields are a family whose social status has declined along with its financial status. For the two young adult children, the vision of an unpromising future is just as burdensome as their current poverty-line subsistence. For the mother, however, the decline is disastrous because she is plagued with the memory of her privileged upbringing.

Amanda, the mother, was raised in a well-to-do family in an era when upper-class girls were strongly discouraged from developing any practical skills. Such girls were expected to marry well, into a family at least as wealthy and well-connected as their own. Amanda did not do so; she married an irresponsible dreamer. His impracticality combined with the extreme reversals of the Depression spelled disaster, and he abandoned the family.

As Amanda has slowly reconciled herself to the fact of her financial limitations, she tries to earn some income. She has imparted to her children, however, the idea of superior status; she cannot see how much more...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 633 words.)

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