In scene 2.  What is Amanda upset about?    

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In scene 2 of Tennesee Williams's play "The Glass Menagerie" we find Amanda in a great state of distress, and its mostly because of Laura. She is slowly realizing that her daughter is a weakling, and very different from Amanda, herself, when Amanda was Laura's age.

All through her life, Amanda has tried to vicariously project herself through Laura. However, Laura is a far cry from Amanda, who is a former Southern Belle, a charmer, a pleaser, and a woman who was bold and audacious with her gentlemen callers.

Contrastingly, Laura is sickly, limps, and is what we would categorize today as someone with a tremendous case of social anxiety disorder.

Instead of attacking the problem, Amanda basically sweeps it under the rug and pretends that Laura is OK. She enrolls her in typewriting lessons so that Laura can at least earn herself some money. Also, she continuously asks Laura whether she has any boys that would ever visit the house. Amanda has even taken a part-time job selling magazines to help her  pay for house decorations in the event that a gentleman caller comes to visit Laura!

Yet, everything is a waste of time. Laura will never change. She throws up at her job due to nervousness and quits going altogether. Instead, she visits the zoo every day and walks around town aimlessly. Moreover, the only guy that she ever liked, Jim, is  engaged to be married and made it well known to both Laura and Amanda.

Therefore, Amanda realizes now that Laura is not only weak but, in brute honesty, she is incapacitated to live a normal life. This would have been Amanda's last chance to make Laura an independent woman in the event that she never marries. Now Amanda sees that Laura cannot do one thing nor the other.

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