What are Amanda's main goals in part one of The Glass Menagerie?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first scene of the play, Amanda's goals seem to be for her children to attain wealth and status. She chastises Tom for his sloppy habits at the table, and above all encourages Laura to keep herself looking "fresh and pretty" for all the "gentlemen callers" that Amanda seems to think will be coming. It is obvious to the audience that this is unlikely to happen, and Laura herself says that she is not beautiful enough to attract men. Amanda makes matters worse by reminiscing about her own youth, when she was allegedly the object of the affections of many young men. It seems that her concerns for her children derive in part from a sincere interest in their well-being, but perhaps more out of her desire to live vicariously through them. In any case, she is clearly out of touch with reality, a point that Tom reiterates throughout the play.

amysor | Student

Amanda's main goals in the novel is for her children to be well off and happy. She wants them have a reasonable job. Which is why she condems Tom when he wants to take up his writing career, because a factory job is much reasonable and offers a secure future. She wanted Laura to have skills too, but her handicap and shyness did not allow her. She tried to take a busniess course, but quit because she threw up the first day. Knowing this, Amanda's main focus is Laura getting married. This becomes an obsession of Amanda. She hopes for a gentleman caller, and even begs Tom to bring home a man. Although, she did not achieve her goals as at the end, Laura did not have a man, and Tom left to pursue his dreams. 

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The Glass Menagerie

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